DPH launches text message initiative for COVID-positive individuals

Agh Launching Text Service

DOVER, Del. – The Delaware Division of Public Health Contact Tracing Team has launched a pre-call SMS/text messaging initiative for individuals who test positive for COVID-19.

We’re told this program involves sending a text message to COVID-positive individuals and providing initial isolation guidance and recommendations through a secure web platform to notify those positive earlier than if they wait for a phone call. This will help get people to isolate more quickly.

The program’s pilot, testing the service on a small number of people, launched on March 1st. DPH says it uses a unique identification number that will appear as the sender of the text on the receiver’s phone. Texting coming from the number 37821 are legitimate.

Officials say the initial message lets the individual know that DPH has critical information for them and asks them to reply with their date of birth. If the information matches DPH’s records, the person will receive a return message that they can now access messages from the Contact Tracing Team. If the date of birth does not match records, the person will be asked to call the Contact Tracing Team with a reference number provided in the return text. The message will also provide a link to the Contact Tracing page on the coronavirus website, to help individuals verify that the message is legitimate. DPH will not ask for additional personal information through text message.

Once a person’s identity is confirmed, they will be able to access isolation guidance on an internal DPH webpage through a separate link.

A member of the Contact Tracing Team will contact the individual at a later time, but other than re-confirming your name, date of birth, and address, they will never ask for personal information such as your Social Security Number, credit card number, or insurance information.

Categories: Coronavirus, Delaware, Local News