Answering the call to slow the spread of COVID-19

Trained public health workers are talking with people who have tested positive for COVID-19 to gather information and answer questions. This work is known as “contact tracing.” It is important to answer calls from trained contact tracers or reply the same day. Along with large-scale testing and isolating those who are sick, the information contact tracers gather is essential for slowing the spread of COVID-19.

Contact tracers ask about places people have been or who they had contact with before they became sick. These people, places and events are called exposures. Collecting this information allows public health staff to identify sources of infection and step in to slow transmission. 

Callers will also ask people about anyone they had contact with while they were infectious to ensure that anyone who was exposed to COVID-19 is informed. Participant information is kept private during this process; public health staff will never reveal your name to individuals or organizations without your permission.

If you want verification that the call you received is from a Public Health staff member, call the Public Health contact tracing line at 952-563-8600 directly before you provide personal information.

A dozen Bloomington Public Health staff work with the Minnesota Department of Health on COVID-19 contact tracing and case investigations. Bloomington Public Health has experience with this type of work for other infectious disease outbreaks, including tuberculosis and measles. Contact tracers understand that people may feel frustrated about having to answer questions. The purpose of the call is to help the person who is sick and to try to slow the spread of COVID-19 in the community.