Social Action Corner
COVID-19 Testing on Martha's Vineyard
WHAT TO EXPECT FROM CONTACT TRACING
Testing combined with contact tracing is an important way you can contribute to the overall health of you and your family as well as the broader Island community. Immediately identifying contacts and ensuring they don't interact with others is critical in protecting our community from further spread of the virus. Testing in and of itself without contact tracing does not fully benefit the public health needs ofthe Vineyard.
So what is contact tracing?
If you have a positive test result, you will be called by a contact tracer or your local board of health. They need to warn close contacts of their exposure, assess their symptoms and risk and provide instructions for next steps. Close contacts should get tested as soon as possible.
The contact tracer will also gather information about your status and guide you through an isolation period. Anyone who is sick or tests positive for COVID 19 needs to isolate for a minimum of 10 days. Anyone who has been in contact with a sick person needs to isolate for 14 days. During this period, you cannot go to public spaces, including the grocery store. The contact tracers will connect you with needed resources during your isolation.
Please answer calls with an 833 or 857 area code from MA COVIDTeam and calls from local boards of health and public health nurses or volunt eer s. They may be calling to alert you to a positive test result or that you have been in close contact with someone with COVID-19. They will give you the information you need and answer any questions.
The information will be entered into the MA database of infectious disease. Your information is strictly confidential and will be treated as the private medical record it is. Your information will not be shared with other agencies, including immigration officials. Additionally, we will not release your name to anyone with whom you've been in contact.
In the meantime, please stay safe. The best way is to stay at home. When you do go out, stay at least six feet for others and wear a mask or face covering. Make sure it covers you nose and mouth. Wash your hands frequently.
For more information, go to Island Health Care's website: ihimv.org.