Health officials urge La. residents to answer phone calls from contact tracers

Health officials urge La. residents to answer phone calls from contact tracers
This is the only phone number that will be used by contact tracers in Louisiana. (Source: WAFB)

(WAFB) - State officials are hopeful contact tracing will help reduce the spread of the coronavirus.

As of May 2020, only 59-percent of those who tested positive have responded to the Louisiana Department of Health’s (LDH) phone calls.

State officials previously expressed concerns about whether or not people would reject the call because of the unfamiliar number.

”I would want to be protected and I would want to protect everyone around me, not just those [who are] relatives..I would be the first on the phone saying I was positive if you need to go take care of yourself,” said Paula Blanchard, in downtown Baton Rouge.

However, not everyone says they would accept the call, even if they did recognize the number.

Some people say they believe the call invades their privacy and said they would refuse to answer or give any information.

“I wouldn’t even worry about it. I mean, I’ve been going out since they told us to stay in. I’ve been out just about every day unless it’s storming out, then I stay home. I believe it’s a form of control. Everything they’ve got going is to control us.” said Jerry, a Baton Rouge resident.

Health professionals with LDH have stressed there is nothing to fear, and the call does more to help.

They are encouraging people to save the number in case they receive a call 1-877-766-2130.

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