COVID-19: Case Investigation and Contact Tracing in Alexandria

Case investigations and contact tracing are critical to stopping the spread. Help save lives and keep our economy running. Your friends and loved ones are counting on you to answer calls from health officials to prevent future infections in our community.

Page updated on Sep 29, 2020 at 12:24 PM

COVID-19 Contact Tracing imageWhen an Alexandria resident receives a positive COVID-19 test result or has been in close contact with someone who has, the Alexandria Health Department (AHD) will start the case investigation and contact tracing processes. You can help stop the spread of COVID-19 in the community by answering calls and returning voicemails from AHD. Learn more about the steps in the process, and how you can help protect our community.  

Case Investigation and Contact Tracing Guide (also available in Spanish, Amharic and Arabic)


Case Investigations: What Happens After Your COVID-19 Test?

1. Your COVID-19 Test Results Arrive

Labs and healthcare providers report positive COVID-19 “cases” to AHD. Then, AHD starts a “case investigation” by calling you to gather more information.

AHD conducts case investigations for a variety of conditions, ranging from meningitis to rabies exposure.


2. You Answer a Call from AHD

You’re not in trouble. We need your help to stop the spread. Staff will also link you to food, supplies and other resources to help you isolate and stay home safely.

AHD will ask about:

  • Symptoms and when they started
  • People who have been within 6 feet for 15 minutes or more, starting from 48 hours before symptoms started.
  • Health conditions that may make you more likely to get very sick
  • Places where you might have been in close contact with others

AHD will NOT ask about your immigration status, bank account, or other sensitive information like your social security number.

3. You Learn How to Protect Others
  • Avoid close contact with others and stay home until not contagious
  • Follow guidelines for cleaning and hand washing
  • Treat minor symptoms with over the counter medicines
  • Seek help from a healthcare provider if symptoms get worse (and call ahead first!)

You will not have to isolate forever! You can generally be around others 10 days after symptoms start and once you have been fever free for 24 hours.

4. Your Close Contacts Answer a Call from AHD

AHD reaches out to your contacts who have been within 6 feet for 15 minutes or more. This could be someone you spent time with at a party, a coworker, or a relative. This person is told that they have been exposed to someone with COVID-19. AHD will not share your name with that person.

AHD is bound by health confidentiality laws and will not share your health status with your employer.
5. Get Back to Your Life

Thanks for being part of the solution to stop the spread of COVID-19 in Alexandria!

Contact Tracing: What Happens if You are a COVID-19 Close Contact?

1. You Answer a Call from AHD

You’re not in trouble. We need your help to stop the spread. Staff will link you to food, supplies and other resources to help you isolate and stay home safely.

AHD will ask about:

  • Any symptoms or if you’re not feeling well
  • Health conditions that may make you more likely to get very sick
  • Places where you might have been in close contact with others.
 AHD will NOT ask about your immigration status, bank account, or other sensitive information like your social security number.
2. You Learn How to Protect Others
  • Avoid close contact with others and stay home for 14 days after your contact with the person who has COVID-19
  • Follow guidelines for cleaning and hand washing
  • Get tested for COVID-19 about 7-10 days after exposure or if you develop symptoms (call your primary care provider or find testing locations)

You will not have to isolate forever! You can generally be around others 10 days after symptoms start and if you have been fever free for 24 hours.

3. You Receive a Daily Check-in
AHD staff will use a daily text or email depending on your preferences to help you monitor for symptoms until you pass the point when you could get sick.
4. Get Back to Your Life
Thanks for being part of the solution to end COVID-19 in Alexandria!
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