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- Physicians are encouraged to advise their COVID-19 positive patients to contact the local health departments to start the contact tracing process. Patients will be much more likely to respond positively to a request from their physician than an unknown individual calling from the health department.
- Patients can call the Harris County Public Health at 832-927-7575 or the Houston Health Department at 832-393-4220.
- If a patient does not call, the local health departments will reach out to the individual after the health department receives a report of their positive test.
- Patients should make a list of those individuals with whom they have had close contact starting from 48 hours before illness onset or 48 hours prior to a positive test for asymptomatic patients.
- Close contact is defined as a contact within six feet for 10-15 minutes of another individual who has tested positive.
- The CDC does not recommend differential determination of close contact for those using fabric face coverings.
- However, considerations should be taken if one or more of the individuals wore a N95 respirator.
- Those who have had close contact with a COVID-19 positive person should stay at home, maintain social distancing, and self-monitor until 14 days from last date of exposure.
For additional resources on contact tracing, go to https://www.hcms.org/tmaimis/Covid-19#Tracing.