Important update: Healthcare facilities
CDC has updated select ways to operate healthcare systems effectively in response to COVID-19 vaccination. Learn more
UPDATE
Given new evidence on the B.1.617.2 (Delta) variant, CDC has updated the guidance for fully vaccinated people. CDC recommends universal indoor masking for all teachers, staff, students, and visitors to K-12 schools, regardless of vaccination status. Children should return to full-time in-person learning in the fall with layered prevention strategies in place.
UPDATE
The White House announced that vaccines will be required for international travelers coming into the United States, with an effective date of November 8, 2021. For purposes of entry into the United States, vaccines accepted will include FDA approved or authorized and WHO Emergency Use Listing vaccines. More information is available here.
UPDATE
Travel requirements to enter the United States are changing, starting November 8, 2021. More information is available here.

COVID-19 Contact Tracing Communication Toolkit for Health Departments

COVID-19 Contact Tracing Communication Toolkit for Health Departments
Updated Nov. 5, 2021

State and local health department staff can use or adapt these ready-made materials to educate their community about case investigation and contact tracing for COVID-19. This toolkit contains key messages, sample talking points, public service announcements, social media posts, graphics, questions and answers, and links to additional resources.

For additional details on case investigation and contact tracing to inform your communication strategy, read the Interim Guidance on Developing a COVID-19 Case Investigation & Contact Tracing Plan: Overview.

This toolkit will be updated regularly. Check back for updates.

Summary of Recent Changes

  • Updated language to align with guidance.

View Previous Updates

Key Messages

Case investigation and contact tracing slow the spread of COVID-19 by

During contact tracing, health department staff will not ask you for:

  • Money
  • Social Security number
  • Bank account information
  • Salary information
  • Credit card numbers

The bottom line: Choosing to help your health department slow the spread of COVID-19 protects you, your family, and your community.

For COVID-19, a close contact is anyone who was less than 6 feet away from of an infected person for a total of 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period (for example, three individual 5-minute exposures for a total of 15 minutes). An infected person can spread COVID-19 starting from 2 days before they have any symptoms (or, if they are asymptomatic, 2 days before their specimen that tested positive was collected), until they meet the criteria for ending isolation.

Talking points

Explain case investigation and contact tracing

  • Case investigation: Case investigation is the process health departments use to work with people who have COVID-19. Case investigators
    • Ask people with COVID-19 to isolate and to monitor their health.
    • Help people with COVID-19 recall everyone they had close contact with during the time when they might have been able to spread COVID-19 to other people.
    • Ask people with COVID-19 to notify everyone they were in close contact with to tell them that they have been exposed to COVID-19.
    • Provide connections to supportive services while a person is isolating.
  • Contact tracing: Contact tracing is the process health departments use to work with people who have been in close contact with someone with COVID-19. Contact tracers
    • Let people know they might have been exposed to COVID-19 and should monitor their health for signs and symptoms of COVID-19.
    • Help people who might have been exposed to COVID-19 get tested when needed.
    • Ask people to follow public health recommendations including wearing a mask, getting tested, and quarantine.

Encourage people with COVID-19 to isolate and encourage people who might have been exposed to COVID-19 to quarantine when needed

Encourage members of your community to access vaccination services

Encourage members of your community to answer the phone from health professionals

  • We all need to work together to slow the spread of COVID-19.
  • If you are a close contact, a local official may call you to conduct contact tracing, even if you have been fully vaccinated.
  • Be part of the solution and answer the phone—it may be a local official calling to let you know your test result came back positive for COVID-19, or that you have been in close contact with someone who had COVID-19.
  • Discussions with health department staff are confidential. This means that your personal and medical information will be kept private and only shared with those who may need to know, like your healthcare provider.
  • Your name will not be shared with those you came in contact The health department will only notify people you were in close contact with that they might have been exposed to COVID-19.
  • Your information will be collected for health purposes only and will not be shared with any other agencies, like law enforcement or immigration.

Encourage your community to follow state and local health department guidance

Encourage people who have COVID-19 to tell their close contacts

Sample public service announcements

15-second

The [insert health department name] is working hard to slow the spread of COVID-19. If you have been around someone with COVID-19, someone from the health department may call you to discuss important COVID-19 information, such as signs and symptoms of COVID-19, testing, and quarantine. Help us by answering the call to slow the spread of COVID-19.

30-second

The [insert health department name] is working hard to slow the spread of COVID-19. If you have been around someone with COVID-19, someone from the health department may call you to talk about important COVID-19 information. Choosing to help us slow the spread of COVID-19 helps protect you, your family, and your community. Help us by answering the call to slow the spread of COVID-19. For more information, visit [insert URL]. This is a message from the [insert health department name].

Find additional Public Service Announcements in multiple languages about everyday prevention actions, cleaning and disinfection, mask use, physical distancing, vaccines, and more.

Video
Answer the Call - Contact Tracing Video

This 1-minute-long animated video with voiceover informs the public about contact tracing and why they should answer and respond to a call from a contact tracer.

Español

Sample graphics

Share contact tracing messages and graphics on your website, social media account, within other COVID-19 education materials. To download, right click on the image and “save image as.” Access all COVID-19 contact tracing communications graphics on CDC’s website.

Image of hand answering a call from a person calling from the health department. cdc.gov/coronavirus.
Answer the Call from the Health Department
Image of person answering a call with another room in the background. cdc.gov/coronavirus.
Tell Your Close Contacts
A woman on a phone
Tell Your Close Contacts
Image of a person sitting on a balcony. cdc.gov/coronavirus.
What to Expect if You Have Been Exposed to COVID-19
Contact Tracing social distancing
Multi-Use Contact Tracing Images
Man taking his temperature while on the phone.
Multi-Use Contact Tracing Images

View all COVID-19 Contact Tracing Communications Graphics available to download for free.

Sample social media posts

Raise awareness about case investigation and contact tracing for COVID-19 by sharing resources with your community. Share the sample content shown below or create your own messages. You can also follow CDC’s social media accounts to repost/retweet messages for your community.

Twitter

Example posts from CDC’s Twitter (@CDCgov) account:

Example post from CDC’s Twitter account

By letting your close contacts know they may have been exposed to #COVID19, you are helping to protect them and others in your community. You can call, text, or email your contacts. Learn more: bit.ly/3r2Pmd1.

Example post from CDC’s Twitter account

Health departments and public health professionals have used contact tracing for decades to slow or stop the spread of infectious diseases. The success of #COVID19 contact tracing depends on people’s participation. Learn more: bit.ly/2ZkyWjJ.

Facebook

Example post from CDC’s Facebook account (@CDC):

Example post from CDC’s Facebook account

If you have COVID-19, notify your close contacts—meaning people you were around in the 2 days before your symptoms started (or before your COVID-19 test, if you had no symptoms) until you started isolation. You can spread the virus to others with or without symptoms. Learn more: bit.ly/3r2Pmd1.

Instagram

  • The best way to protect yourself and others is to stay home for 14 days if you think you’ve been exposed to someone who has #COVID19. Most fully vaccinated people with no COVID-like symptoms do not need to quarantine, but they should still get tested and monitor for COVID-19 symptoms. Check your local health department’s website for information about options in your area to possibly shorten this quarantine period. #CDC #PublicHealth #Coronavirus
  • School administrators: As K–12 schools and institutions of higher education (IHEs) resume in-person learning, effective strategies to slow the spread of #COVID19 are:
    • Identifying people who are sick and asking those who are to isolate
    • Letting people know they might have been exposed to COVID-19 and should monitor their health for signs and symptoms
    • Asking people who have been exposed to COVID-19 to follow public health recommendations to wear a mask, get tested, and quarantine based on their vaccination status or prior infection in the past 90 days.

Learn about steps to take in CDC’s updated guidance for COVID-19 case investigation and contact tracing in K-12 schools and IHEs: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/schools-childcare/contact-tracing.html

#CDC #PublicHealth #Coronavirus

Example post from CDC’s Instagram account (@cdcgov):

Example post from CDC’s Instagram account

Do you know what happens during #COVID19 contact tracing? We have an answer. #CDC #PublicHealth #Coronavirus

For more sample social media posts, access CDC’s Social Media Toolkit.

Questions and answers

Health department staff might have questions about various topics related to case investigation and contact tracing. Visit the Contact Tracing Frequently Asked Questions and Answers webpage for additional information.

Additional Resources
infographic-thumbnail for contract tracing

What you can expect to happen during contact tracing if you have been diagnosed with COVID-19

Additional Languages:
Chinese | KoreanMarshallese | Spanish | Vietnamese

3 Key Steps to Take While Waiting for Your COVID-19 Test Result

To help stop the spread of COVID-19, take these 3 key steps now while waiting for your test results

Additional Languages:
Chinese | Korean | Marshallese | Spanish | Vietnames

How To Talk To Your Close Contacts pdf image

This important resource encourages people who have COVID-19 to notify their close contacts so that they can quarantine at home and get tested.

Find other print resources that are being used to support COVID-19 recommendations.

Previous Updates