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Contact Tracing​

What is Contact Tracing?

Contact tracing is the process of identifying, notifying, and monitoring anyone who came in close contact with an individual who tested positive for COVID-19 while they were infectious (2 days before onset of symptoms until the end of the person's isolation period).  Contact tracing is a key strategy for preventing the further spread of infectious diseases, such as COVID-19. Close contacts of a case are considered to have been exposed to COVID-19, and may go on to develop the disease.  Identifying and quarantining close contacts limits their ability to spread disease should they become infectious and helps to limit community spread.

What Happens During the Contact Tracing Process?

Contact tracing for COVID-19 typically involves:

  • Interviewing people with COVID-19 to identify everyone with whom they had close contact during the time they may have been infectious;
  • Notifying contacts of their potential exposure;
  • Referring contacts for testing;
  • Monitoring contacts for signs and symptoms of COVID-19; and
  • Connecting contacts with services they might need during the self-quarantine period.

To prevent the further spread of disease, COVID-19 contacts are encouraged to stay home and maintain social distance (at least 6 feet) from others until 14 days after their last exposure to a person with COVID-19. Contacts should monitor themselves by checking their temperature twice daily and watching for symptoms of COVID-19.

Learn more about the contact tracing process.

How Do I Become a Contact Tracer?

The department receives inquiries from individuals and organizations about getting involved with contact tracing efforts, specifically through the Civilian Coronavirus Corps or other entities that are built to support individuals who are displaced through COVID-19 or are former health care providers who want to get involved.

Individuals interesting in contact tracing should register on ServPA and choose the organization Contact Tracing (PA DOH).

Groups inquiring about contact tracing should email Please include:
  • Name of the group or organization they represent
  • Inquiry or topic related to contact tracing
  • Contact information for individual who we should contact
Learn more about becoming a contact tracer.

Resources for More Information

Questions? Call 1-877-PA-HEALTH (1-877-724-3258)

Updated 6/30/2020