VDH urges Virginians to engage with contact tracers, watch for scams

Contact tracing is one defense the county has to help stop the spread of COVID-19, and while...
Contact tracing is one defense the county has to help stop the spread of COVID-19, and while medical leaders at the Jefferson County Health Department said the county has a sufficient number of contact tracers, an infectious disease doctor at UAB said the task is next to impossible.(WBRC)
Updated: Jun. 29, 2020 at 2:22 PM EDT
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RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - The Virginia Department of Health is encouraging citizens to engage with real contact tracers while watching out for potential scams.

Virginia employs contact tracers to notify individuals who may have been exposed to known COVID-19 cases.

“Contact tracing saves lives by preventing the spread of COVID-19, so we encourage every Virginian to do their part and answer calls, text messages, or emails from the Commonwealth’s contact tracers,” VDH said.

When dealing with these calls, it is important to differentiate what is a real call telling you that you may have been exposed and one just trying to scam you out of some money.

When a contact tracer is calling, VDH said the caller ID will read “VDH COVID Team.” The state also doesn’t charge people for contact tracing services.

“Contact tracers will offer to enroll Virginians in a voluntary contact monitoring platform called Sara Alert, which individuals can use to update local health departments on their health status during the period of time they are participating in public health monitoring. The Sara Alert system is secure and always contacts users from the same phone number or email: 844-957-2721 or notifications@saraalert.org,” VDH said in a release.

Real contact tracers will not ask for money, social security numbers, bank account details or credit card numbers.

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