As we have grappled with the COVID-19 pandemic, the Commonwealth has been in a state of shutdown. If we are to reopen and trudge back to some sense of normal, we need to do so with an eye towards containing this virus and using test capabilities where it makes the most sense. That's why the Commonwealth set up a contact tracing partnership. Learning about contact tracing and working diligently with the partners is your opportunity to protect yourself and the people that you love.
Contact tracing is health policy jargon for tracking the spread of an infectious disease. If you test positive for coronavirus, the Massachusetts COVID Community Team will work with you to arrange treatment and resources that you may need through quarantine. From there, they will ask you for the names and numbers of anyone that you might've come into contact with in recent weeks, give those people a call, and help them get the testing and support that they need to stop the spread of the virus.
Your name and any medical conditions that you have are private medical records. The COVID Community Team won't be sharing that information with anyone you name who might be at risk. But by working with them, you'll ensure that those you care about are warned and taken care of. The more that our state knows about the spread of the virus, the sooner we can think about returning to life before the virus.
The Massachusetts COVID Community Team places calls to people at risk between 8AM and 8PM daily. Contact tracers will likely show up on your caller ID as "MA COVID Team". They'll be calling via an 833 or an 857 number. If they call, answer. It could very well help save the life of someone that you know.
This is hard – all of it. Staying at home, staying away from people that we care about, and now having difficult medical conversations with someone who isn't your doctor are all departures from the life that we all knew. Your state government has asked a great deal of you during this time, and now I have an additional request. If the Massachusetts COVID Community Team tries to contact you and work with you to help stop the virus, answer the call.