Debunking the myths of COVID-19 contact tracing

SPOKANE, Wash.– Contact tracing has been going for years, with health officials tracking down people with HIV or Tuberculosis, among other infections.

Health officials have been contact tracing COVID-19 as well since this pandemic started. The only difference is it’s happening on a wider scale with more people, now.

If you test positive, you’ll likely get a phone call from the local health department; they’ll ask you to stay home for 14 days and call or text you each day until you’re feeling better.

Health officials have said people with COVID-19 are contagious two days before they start feeling sick.

So, that’s why they’ll call anyone you were within six feet of for ten minutes during those two days, and they’ll ask those people to self-isolate, too.

Many of you have questions about this, and we’re here to answer those.

Q: What happens if I don’t comply?

A: If health officials think you’re at risk and are worried about you not complying, they’ll ask you to sign a form which says you will voluntarily self-isolate.

If you still don’t comply, you could face a fine or jail time.

“If I have significant concerns about somebody being out there that shouldn’t be, then it can be enforceable by law,” Spokane Regional Health Officer Dr. Bob Lutz said.

Self-isolation is supposed to be voluntary, and health officials have said they don’t want to enforce this.

Q: Will I or my kids be placed in isolation centers?

A: No. The state has some isolation centers available for foster kids or people with no safe place to go. At no point, will anyone drag you or your kids out of your home.

Q: Why is the National Guard involved?

A: They are only acting as volunteers, not law enforcement. They will help like they are doing at the food banks in town.

Q: Will my privacy be violated?

A: No. Your information is confidential just like it is at a doctor’s office.

Contact tracers will not ask you for any personal info either like immigration status, martial status or social security number.

They also won’t be giving the health information the need to anyone like police or other government officials.

READ: 4 News Now Q&A: We answer your questions about contact tracing