New site supports containment efforts nationwide by allowing users to contact multiple potential exposed cases at once
WASHINGTON, DC – Today, the National Coalition of STD Directors (NCSD), in partnership with Building Healthy Online Communities (BHOC) and Team Klausner, announced the launch of “TellYourContacts.org”, an innovative website that allows those with a positive COVID-19 test result to send a text or email to people with whom they’ve had close contact, and notify them that they may have been exposed to coronavirus. The site currently recommends that they contact those with whom they were less than six feet away, for 15 minutes or more, starting the two days prior to when they started feeling symptoms. This definition may change as we better understand transmission dynamics and with any new official health guidance.
Users can send a pre-written message or a personalized one to up to 10 people at once, and can choose to sign the message or send it anonymously. The contact gets a message encouraging them to follow CDC guidelines for home isolation and to go to CDC’s Coronavirus page where they can find a self-assessment tool, get tested if necessary, and recommendations.
“The COVID-19 pandemic is a once-in-a-lifetime crisis that requires inventive approaches for containment, and Tellyourcontacts.org is yet one more way we’re working to support tracing efforts throughout the country. Through this website, we will make it even easier for COVID cases to reach out to contacts, saving precious time and potentially saving lives,” said David C. Harvey, Executive Director for NCSD.
This site was developed by Building Healthy Online Communities, which also created “Tellyourpartners.org,” which allows individuals with an STD to notify their partners anonymously. BHOC developed the new site in partnership with NCSD and Dr. Jeff Klausner, an infectious disease expert at the University of California at Los Angeles.
“We know that many people want to notify others that they may have been exposed to an infectious disease, whether it’s an STD or COVID,” said Jen Hecht, co-founder and director of BHOC. “We need to give them the right tools do so while protecting their privacy.”
Tellyourcontacts.org is meant to support contact notification efforts being carried out by DIS and COVID-19 case investigators. It can be promoted in areas where there are insufficient numbers of DIS to contact all cases’ contacts. Health departments and medical providers may also want to suggest that new cases use it as soon as possible as an additional tool to speed up notification efforts.
Contact: Matt Prior, email@example.com
The National Coalition of STD Directors is a national public health membership organization representing health department STD directors, their support staff, and community-based partners across 50 states, seven large cities, and eight US territories. Our mission is to advance effective STD prevention programs and services across the country. NCSD does this as the voice of our membership. We provide leadership, build capacity, convene partners, and advocate. Go to ncsddc.org for more information.