WHITMAN — The Whitman Board of Health would like to inform residents of potential phone calls that they may receive regarding the state’s Community Tracing Collaborative.
The Commonwealth of Massachusetts, along with Partners In Health, created the COVID-19 Community Tracing Collaborative (CTC) program to reach out to the contacts of confirmed positive COVID-19 patients throughout the state. The goal of the program is to help others who have been potentially exposed to the virus.
Residents are encouraged to answer calls from the CTC or local health departments in order to provide important information that could lead to flattening the curve in Massachusetts.
Calls from the state CTC program will use the prefix 833 and 857, and caller ID will say the call is from “MA COVID Team.” Calls will be made daily from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Calls from the CTC could come from 781-659-2342 (NVNA and Hospice), or 833-638-1685 or 857-305-2728 (the Massachusetts COVID team).
These are not the only numbers that calls could come from, however, and Whitman residents are encouraged to answer incoming calls in the event they may be related to the CTC program.
Complete information can be found on the CTC website.
What happens during the call
As part of a CTC call, a case investigator will ask for a list of all of the people you were within six feet of during the two days before you had symptoms. If you don’t have symptoms, the investigator will ask about your activity during the two days before your diagnosis. They will also ask for the phone numbers of anyone you provide so they can be called and told about their exposure.
The investigator will encourage you to let your contacts know about your illness, but will not be sharing your information. The investigator will call your contacts and let them know they have been exposed so they can get tested, but not tell them your name.
Why Community Tracing matters
According to the CTC website, social distancing has been proven effective in slowing the spread of the virus but there is more that residents can do. With contact tracing in place, local and state health officials can track the spread and reduce additional exposure to others by encouraging testing, supporting quarantine and social distancing.
Many people who have COVID-19 do not show any symptoms and do not realize that they may be spreading the virus. That is why it is important for residents to answer the call if contacted.
“We are all in this together, and by sharing information and listening to the direction of the CTC, we can flatten the curve and reduce the number of cases in Massachusetts,” Chief Grenno said. “We encourage any resident who receives a call from the CTC to answer it and participate in the program.”