Oklahoma to expand coronavirus contact tracing by texting

BY ASSOCIATED PRESS
07/28/2020 12:30 PM
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — The Oklahoma State Department of Health said Friday that it will expand its coronavirus contact tracing by texting people who have had close contact with people infected with the virus.

“Contact tracing is an integral component of fighting COVID-19 by breaking the chain of transmission, and we are pleased to find ways to increase efficiency as we continuously develop robust contact tracing efforts across Oklahoma,” Deputy Commissioner of Community Health Services Keith Reed said in a statement.

The department said messages will include only the recipient’s initials, allow the person to fill out a contact tracing interview and receive quarantine-related messages. Text recipients have the option of being contacted with a phone call.

The health department reported 29,116 confirmed cases of the virus Friday and 484 deaths due to COVID-19, the disease caused by the virus, an increase from 28,802 reported cases and 477 deaths reported Thursday.

The actual number of positive cases is likely much higher since many people have not been tested and some who get infected don’t show symptoms.
The health department reported 23, 277 people have recovered from the virus and 628 people are currently hospitalized either with the virus or under investigation for infection.

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