By: KDKA-TV News Staff
HARRISBURG (KDKA) – The Wolf administration is warning Pennsylvanians about coronavirus contact tracing scams.
“Contact-tracing is vital in the state’s efforts to stop the spread of COVID-19 and we want Pennsylvanians to be confident that if they receive a call from a contact-tracer that the call is legitimate,” Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine said in a press release.
Contact tracers may ask for verification of your birth date, address or any phone numbers along with whether you’ve already tested positive for coronavirus.
But they’ll never ask for your social security number, bank information or personal details unrelated to a possible coronavirus exposure. They also won’t ask for personal information through a text message or website link. Nor will they ask for photos, passwords or money.
If you’re not sure if you’re talking to a contact tracer, you can call the Department of Health at 1-877-724-3258 to verify.
After health officials receive a report for a positive COVID-19 test result, trained public health staff conduct a case investigation and figure out where the patient has gone while infectious. Then contact tracers will reach out to those close contacts to educate, inform and offer support.
Recently, the Department of Health partnered with a staffing agency to hire 1,000 paid contact tracers. The nearly $23 million federally-funded contract with Insight Global will recruit, hire, train and support 1,000 contact tracers.
When combined with wearing masks, social distancing and testing, contact tracing is a way to slow the spread of a virus. Contact tracing is routine and already being done for diseases like HIV and Hepatitis C.
You can learn more about contact tracing on the health department’s website.