‘Answer the call’: Fairfax Co. urges residents to help out contact tracers

young teenager girl hand using mobile phone or smartphone on gray wall background(Getty Images/iStockphoto/semenovp)

Fairfax County, Virginia, is urging residents to pick up the phone as the health department ramps up contact tracing to fight the coronavirus.

“For us to successfully box the virus in, we need everyone to respond to our calls and follow the instructions and guidance for staying home and away from others,” said Dr. Gloria Addo-Ayensu, director of health for the Fairfax County Government in a new video on the county’s website.

She said that when contact tracers call, the caller ID will say “VDH COVID TEAM.”

They will not ask for any money or information, such as Social Security numbers, bank account details or credit card numbers. If someone calls and asks for those items, it could be a scam, she said.

The county is hiring up to 400 additional contact tracers to call residents when they test positive or are identified as being in close contact with someone who has the novel coronavirus.

“Contact tracing saves lives by preventing the spread of COVID-19,” Addo-Ayensu said. “So, it is important for every resident to do their part and answer calls, text messages or emails from the COVID-19 case and contact investigation team.”

She also reminded residents that Fairfax County is providing temporary shelter for people who need a place to stay to safely self-isolate or self-quarantine if they’ve been exposed.

Valerie Bonk

Valerie Bonk started working at WTOP in 2016 and has lived in Howard County, Maryland, her entire life. She's thrilled to be a reporter for WTOP telling stories on air. She works as both a television and radio reporter in the Maryland and D.C. areas. 

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