The Oklahoma State Department of Health said it will begin using text messages during COVID-19 contact tracing.
“The goal for the text messaging is to both benefit the health department and the citizens,” Lead Epidemiologist Dr. Jared Taylor said.
The messaging system is designed to save time for the department and streamline the process for patients and contacts.
After a person tests positive in Oklahoma, the person will receive a text message addressed to them by their initials.
“Much of the communication very easily can be automated, so that's what the system is designed to do,” Taylor said. “Just inquire with people on a daily basis, whether they've had symptoms, to remind them of when their quarantine or isolation period is set to end.”
Messages might also be sent to people who have had contact with positive patients.
Taylor said the system is designed to protect privacy, and the messages should not solicit new information.
“If you ever have any doubts, feel free to contact your health department directly,” Taylor said.