Starting today those who’ve tested positive for COVID, plus those they’ve had contact with, will receive text-messages to let them know a health worker will call to contact-trace and provide information about self-isolation. State Health Commissioner Jan Malcolm says it’s important that people answer when that call comes in, or call back. “Each case that successfully isolates and quarantines can prevent dozens of people from contracting the disease,” she says. “We hope that the text will alert people to the fact that we will be calling, and to encourage that primary case or their contacts to answer that call or to return that call.”
Malcolm says because the text message will also display what phone number the call will come from, it helps people avoid scammers asking for Social Security numbers, credit card info or bank account numbers — something health officials will never do.