NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) – Starting on Friday, the Metro Public Health Department will have improved contact tracing, which plays a crucial role in tracking the virus.
Typically, you’ll get a phone call from a contact tracer if you test positive for COVID-19 in Nashville. Soon, they’ll have another option- to send you a text message.
“I think a lot of people don't answer their phones. So, text messages are really good,” Shari Green, a parent said.
Green and her daughter were waiting in line to get tested for COVID-19 in West Nashville on Wednesday.
Green’s daughter was in close contact with someone at school who got infected.
“I wasn't actually that concerned about it because they wear masks at school and I think it's an abundance of caution,” Green said.
Metro Health case investigators no longer have to only rely on calls. They can send text messages to start contact tracing.
The text of the message will read:
Important message from Metro Public Health Dept: Hello, if you have tested positive for COVID-19, please complete this form: redcap.link/COVID.tn.gov and remain isolated at home until you are cleared. If you need assistance completing the form, please call 615-340-8929. Thank you for helping stop the spread of COVID-19 in our community. Si usted necesita este mensaje en español, por favor llame al 615-340 -8929.
"It's really critical to be able to reach these folks,” Brian Todd with the Metro Public Health Department said.
Todd said since the beginning of the pandemic, they’ve made close to 100,000 calls for contact tracing.
Not everyone always picks up. That’s why they’re launching the texting option as cases rise.
“We think it's going to be a much more efficient way to cover more people in a way as quick as possible,” Todd said.
If you get a text, it’ll ask you to fill out a survey. You’ll give your name, address, phone number, and birthday.
Make sure it matches what you gave the testing center or clinic. The survey will then want to know where you’ve been and who you might have exposed.
“I think it'll help them get the information they need if they get a text message,” Green said.
If you worry the text you get might be a scam, there’s a phone number listed.
You can call that number to verify it’s from the health department.
They said they’ll never ask for your social security number, bank info, or money.