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  • The Importance of Contact Tracing: Why You Should Answer the Call

  • When the COVID-19 pandemic was at its worst in New York, the state partnered with Bloomberg Philanthropies, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and Vital Strategies and created the NYS Contact Tracing Program to help slow the spread of COVID-19.

    Imagine that you’re in New York State and you were recently tested for COVID-19. Your phone rings and your caller ID says either “NYS Contact Tracing” (518-387-9993) or, in NYC specifically, NYC Test and Tracer Corp” with phone numbers beginning with 212- 540-xxxx or 212-242-xxxx. Don’t ignore the call! Please answer the phone, even if you were tested and have not received your results yet. The contact tracer could be calling you.

    Why? Because answering the phone and giving the information the contact tracer asks for will keep your loved ones and community safe!

    The goal of contact tracing is to reach people who spent more than 15 minutes less than six feet away from a person infected with coronavirus.  The tracer asks people to quarantine at home for two weeks even if they test negative, checking themselves for symptoms during that time.

    This is how New York stops the spread!

    The tracer connects people with the support they may need through quarantine, such as help getting food, household supplies and medicines. Participation is confidential. NYS/NYC will not release names to anyone, and the information will be treated as a private medical record.

    A contact tracer will:

    NEVER ask for your Social Security number

    NEVER ask for any private financial information

    NEVER ask for credit card information

    NEVER send you a link without confirming it

    Contact tracing has been used for hundreds of years to control diseases like tuberculosis. It is an effective method of stopping the spread of contagious viruses. 

    Answer the phone and help New Yorkers stay safe and healthy!

    For more information, visit:

    Sources: New York Times, Sunday, August 2, 2020