COVID-19 Contact Tracing 

Protecting Against COVID-19


ALERT: Scammers posing as contact tracers have been preying on Ohioans. Legitimate contact tracers will initially reach out by phone and will never ask for your Social Security number, your bank account number or any other financial information. NEVER click on a link or respond to a text saying you have been exposed to COVID-19. If you have concerns about whether a call is legitimate, contact your local health department. Report suspected scams to the office of Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost at or 1-800-282-0515.

Contact tracing involves identifying people who are likely to get sick because of being in contact with those who have tested positive. Contact tracing is an important part of Ohio moving forward as more businesses and recreation sites reopen.

Local health departments conduct contact tracing every day for various infectious diseases. If you’re sick, these local health department workers (nurses and other healthcare professionals) interview you and find out who you may have come into contact with and potentially exposed to your illness. Limiting contacts means the virus isn’t able to infect other people. The virus lives in people. Limiting contacts means the virus has nowhere to live.

The Ohio Department of Health has partnered with Partners in Health, a world-renowned organization that works to protect communities. The group will bring in needed resources to implement our plan. With their help, Ohio will increase the number of community tracers from a few hundred to possibly nearly 2,000.

The following describes the contact tracing process that will take place should you start to feel ill.

  1. You call your healthcare provider, who may decide to test you for COVID-19 if you are exhibiting the symptoms. While you wait for the test results, you stay home and isolate yourself from others.
  2. If you test positive for COVID-19, your healthcare provider will call you to let you know that you tested positive. They will notify the local health department, who will then notify the Ohio Department of Health so that the case is added to the state’s data. During this time, you continue to stay home and isolate yourself.
  3. Next, a public health worker who is performing contact tracing will reach out to you to voluntarily talk and create a line list that is made up of who you have been in contact with. This traces who you may have come into contact with and may have been exposed to the virus.
  4. While you are still home and isolating, the public health worker who is conducting the contact tracing will call those who you may have been around and may have been exposed. Those who have been exposed will self-quarantine and monitor their symptoms for cough, fever, and shortness of breath. If they show no symptoms, after 14 days, their quarantine lifts. If these individuals do begin to show symptoms, they should contact their healthcare provider who may tell them to go and get a test.

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