Don’t recognize who’s calling you? It could be a contact tracer

The process of contact tracing

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - How often do you ignore calls you do not recognize? We all do it. Well, health officials say you may want to answer because a contract tracer could be calling you.

Someone from the Jefferson County Department of Health Department or the state may be trying to get a hold of you to see if you’ve been exposed to COVID-19. We know Jefferson County is hiring more contact tracers to ask questions like where you’ve been and who you’ve been around to try and figure out if you’ve exposed anyone to the virus.

The purpose of contact tracing is to identify and isolate those who might have been exposed to COVID-19 and the process begins with a phone call, usually made within hours of a person testing positive for the virus.

The tracers will also confirm your name, date of birth and address and will most likely call you from a 205-930 number.

Dr. Wes Willeford says contact tracing is critical right now.

“The places that we really focus on are the people who live in their household and also people that they've been within six feet for 15 minutes or greater…those are going to be the highest risk people that we want to make sure we're isolating and trying to break the chain of transmission for COVID-19,” Willeford said.

Willeford says the health department will never ask for your social security number or credit card information or anything else that could potentially put your identity at risk. If someone claiming to be from the health department tries, then hang up.

Copyright 2020 WBRC. All rights reserved.