Digital Case Investigation – Connect & Protect Form Frequently Asked Questions
What is the Connect & Protect Form?
A Connect & Protect Form is a digital case investigation tool to collect information from someone who recently tested positive for COVID-19 to help gather where the individual went and whom the individual came in close contact of while infectious.
The purpose of this process is to ensure anyone who had close contact is notified that they were exposed to COVID-19 without revealing the identity of who exposed them. Contact tracers will be able to follow up with those close contacts to inform them and monitor them in case they develop symptoms and to ensure they have supports available and in place to best support them.
By connecting with the Department of Health, you are protecting your loved ones, friends and neighbors from COVID-19.
Who will receive a Connect & Protect Form?
Pennsylvanians between the ages of 19 to 64 years old who live in an area without their own county or municipal health departments.
Traditional case investigations will continue for those 19 years old and younger and 64 years old and older in order to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 and risk of outbreak.
What is the department doing to help inform residents of this change?
The Department of Health will continue educating and communicating to our community partners, media, health partners and more to ensure residents are informed of this opportunity to further protect their loved ones and neighbors from the spread of COVID-19.
What does the Connect & Protect Form look like? How do we know it is from the Department of Health?
Once a contact tracer calls someone who was diagnosed with COVID-19, they will ask for their email to send along the Connect & Protect Form. This email will come within minutes to the individual and the individual will need to use that link to complete their survey. The email will come from RA-DHNOREPLY@pa.gov.
If anyone has questions regarding the validity of their email, please call the Department of Health at 1-877-PA-HEALTH (1-877-724-3258), option 1.
What language is the Connect & Protect Form available in?
For the initial rollout of the Connect & Protect Form, it will only be available in English. However, the Department of Health is working to ensure those who do not speak or read English have supports through the traditional case investigations. As we launch this form, we will work towards including other available languages.
How will this data be shared?
An individual's information collected through the Connect & Protect Form will not be shared. However, the Wolf Administration will share a weekly update of the culminative data reported from all case investigations that week. Currently, this is being doing through the weekly press releases indicating the number of individuals who have responded to going to an event, a restaurant, a business, and more. You can find all of those releases for reference on the
Pennsylvania Data page.
What is the benefit of the Connect & Protect Form?
As cases continue to rise in Pennsylvania, case investigators are unable to contact all incoming COVID-19 cases. In fact, the Department of Health has been prioritizing the cases in order to prevent outbreaks. This Connect & Protect Form will allow contact tracers to reach out to individuals to start their case investigation by sharing the form. This phone call will take 10 to 15 minutes compared to the traditional case investigation time of 30 to 60 minutes.
Since it is saving time, cases may be able to respond to the form when at their earliest convenience in case they would not be available to answer all the questions on the phone at that time.