Frequently asked questions about contact tracing in Louisville

COVID helpline phone number 1-502-912-8598

 

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What is contact tracing?

If you test positive, there is a short window of time to pinpoint who else might have the virus before they could get sick and, sometimes seriously ill requiring hospitalization. If you identify who you were in contact with, you can stop the virus in its tracks and help protect your family, friends and loved ones.

Doctors, nurses and health care workers are putting their lives at risk to care for people who need it. They need our help. Contact tracing stops more people from getting sick, so hospitals don’t get crowded, doctors and nurses can stay safe, and every patient gets the attention they need.

Please answer the call from our contact tracers and care advocates. LOU HEALTH will show up on your caller ID.

You don’t have to wait for us to call. If you have recently tested positive or are waiting for test results, or if you were in close contact with someone who tested positive and you aren’t sure what to do, call the LOU HEALTH COVID-19 Helpline: 502-912-8598. The helpline is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Language translation services are available.

image description: animated graphic that explains how contact tracers interview people who have contracted Covid-19 to find out which other people they have been in close contact with. This is just one strategy that is used to detect and prevent covid-19

 

How does contact tracing work?

Recent in-person contacts are notified that they may have been exposed to COVID-19 and are offered instructions and connected to local resources. Individuals receive follow-up calls to see how they are doing and gather any new information.

By following the instructions provided by public health workers, contacts help stop the spread of COVID-19 and save the lives of Kentuckians.

This is part of an existing process used by Louisville Metro Public Health & Wellness and the Kentucky Department for Public Health. The purpose of contact tracing is to reduce health risks to others and protect communities from any further exposure. Resources are provided to help both individuals who have COVID-19, as well as individuals who may have been exposed to COVID-19.

All information gathered by public health workers is private and is not released or made public.

 

Image description: Your local health department will contact you if you have covid-19 or have been exposed to covid-19 to connect you to medical care and to find resources, if needed

 

Why am I being asked for my information?

Your medical information helps determine your COVID-19 status and the best next steps for you. Your personal information is needed to get in touch with you and provide you with instructions and helpful resources. Information on the people you have been in contact with recently is needed so they may be told they have been exposed to COVID-19 and be provided with necessary instructions.

 

Is the information I give private?

Absolutely. The information you give is kept completely private and confidential.

Information regarding the individuals who have COVID-19 and people they have made in-person contact with recently is not released or made public.

 

How did Louisville Metro Public Health & Wellness get my information?

Healthcare providers and labs are required to report anyone with a positive COVID-19 lab test, or someone who is highly likely to have COVID-19, to the local health department. If you came into contact recently with someone who has COVID-19, we received your information from them. They identified you or a place where you have been that may have potentially exposed you to COVID-19.

 

Will I be contacted by Louisville Metro Public Health & Wellness?

There are two reasons why you may be contacted: You have COVID-19 or you were recently around someone who has COVID-19 and you may have been exposed to the disease. If you have COVID-19:

  • A public health worker will ask how you are doing and see if there is anything you need to connect you with resources.
  • A public health worker will explain what to do now that you have COVID-19.
  • A public health worker will ask for a list of people you have recently been with in-person, so we can let them know they may have been exposed to COVID-19. Your information will be kept completely private.

If you are someone who may have been exposed:

  • A public health worker will tell you that you were potentially exposed to COVID-19.
  • A public health worker will ask how you are feeling and see if there is anything you need to connect you with resources.
  • A public health worker will determine next steps to take based on any symptoms you may have.

The goal of contact tracing is to stop the spread of COVID-19 in the community and save the lives of Kentuckians. By following instructions provided by public health workers, you can help keep your loved ones and people you know from getting sick.

 

Image description: Is contact tracing safe? Answering a few questions about potential exposures to coronavirus is a simple, yet important step in helping us stop the spread of the virus

 

How does giving my information benefit me?

 There are many benefits. They include:

Help stop the spread of COVID-19 from your loved ones and your community. Gain access to resources you may need during this time including:

  • How to get tested and where.
  • What to do if you get COVID-19.
  • How to get food during self-isolation.
  • Get answers from a public health worker.

 

What will be done with the information I provide?

Your information will be kept completely private and only used for public health purposes. We do not release confidential information to the public. If you are a person with COVID-19, any people you name as potential contacts will not be told who they were exposed to. This means we are keeping your information private.

If you are a contact:

  • Nothing you say will be told to the person who has COVID-19.
  • Your personal information will not be released.
  • Your symptoms and disease status will be used to make sure you get better, and that the disease does not spread any further.

 

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