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What is Contact Tracing?

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Contact tracing is the process of identifying, assessing, monitoring, educating and managing people who have been exposed to COVID-19 to prevent onward transmission in the community.

  • When routinely applied, contact tracing can break the chain of transmission of COVID-19 and limit the spread of disease in the community.
  • People can spread COVID-19 before they have symptoms or feel sick, so it is important to isolate if instructed by a healthcare worker or contact tracer even if you feel well. 


How does Contact Tracing work?

Public health care workers will contact you if you have been possibly exposed to the virus that causes COVID-19 (for example if you are a contact of a COVID-19 patient). 

Man holding cell phone

For contact tracing to work, it is important for people to answer their phones and to provide the public health workers with detailed and accurate information, so that the community members are as protected as possible.

During contact tracing, the public health workers will ask the people at risk to: 

  1. Stay in isolation or quarantine for a given period of time 
  2. Get tested (either once or more than once)
  3. Monitor their symptoms and temperature while in isolation and inform the public health workers if they develop any symptoms of COVID-19 (for example, cough, fever, loss of taste/smell, difficulty breathing etc.)
  4. Follow preventive measures (like frequent hand washing) while waiting in isolation
  5. Call their local clinic if they develop severe symptoms, like severe difficulty breathing, that needs urgent medical attention.


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