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How state and local health departments are helping COVID-19 cases and tracking contacts

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Posted at 12:00 PM, Apr 16, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-16 14:19:23-04

Health department staffs are contacting Michigan residents who are COVID-19 positive to offer help and locate people they have been in contact with.

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services is putting out word that such people may get a phone call from an unknown phone number in the 517 area code.

“We ask Michiganders to please answer these calls and return voicemails from the local health departments or the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services,” said Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, chief medical executive and chief deputy for health, in a release.
The health department staff members are hoping to provide information to COVID-19 patients on the nature of the illness and actions they can take. They will also seek information on who the positive cases have been in direct contact with for follow-up. Tracking such contacts has proved around the globe as a critical step in minimizing the spread of the coronavirus.

To prevent citizens from being scammed, the MDHHS says health staff will not offer any
medication for treatment or prevention of COVID-19, will not ask for any information on medical insurance or Medicaid, and will not ask for personal financial information such as a social security number or driver’s license number.

Health department staff will ask about health status, symptoms they may be experiencing, who they have been in contact with, places they have recently been, and other health-related questions.
Contact the COVID-19 Hotline at 888-535-6136 with questions seven days a week from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.