If you’ve been diagnosed with COVID-19, you can anonymously text or email the people with whom you’ve been in close contact via the website tellyourcontacts.org.
Dr. Marc Eckstein, Professor of Emergency Medicine at Keck School of Medicine of USC and Medical Director of the Los Angeles Fire Department, said this tool is useful because there might be a stigma against those who test positive for COVID-19 and expose others to it.
“Someone may get angry and say, ‘Why’d you expose me? Why didn’t you stay at home? Why’d you come to work? Why weren’t you more vigilant,’” Dr. Eckstein said. “So this removes any barriers from notification.”
Testing for COVID-19 is available for all residents of Los Angeles. Dr. Eckstein said if a vulnerable person tests positive for COVID-19, like someone who is elderly or homeless, contact tracing will involve staff members to help.
“For example, for [people who tested positive for the novel coronavirus during walk-up homeless testing], the system worked because most of these individuals accepted our offer for transport to be housed in Tier 2 Housing in these hotel rooms,” Dr. Eckstein said. “So we were easily able to contact our county partners, public health partners, to make sure these individuals really were quarantined and not expose other residents or other workers.”
Dr. Eckstein said L.A. has “had a frighteningly high number of residents and staff test positive in certain nursing homes.”
“There’s a notification process where we notify them, public health notifies them, there’s a physician in these facilities, there’s the medical director, the staff director,” he said. “Mayor Garcetti and the Public Health Director both have now mandated testing of all residents and workers in all congregate living facilities, which includes nursing homes and skilled nursing facilities and shelters, which is really important for the symptomatic and asymptomatic.”
If you test positive for the coronavirus, notify those with whom you’ve been in contact using this tool, tellyourcontacts.org.
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