Manitoba health officials announced Thursday the province will be using text messages to help with contact tracing and monitoring of COVID-19 cases.
The text messages will be in addition to phone calls from contract tracers and automated phone messages.
“This will alert Manitobans that their test results are available on the Manitoba COVID-19 online results display,” said Dr. Jazz Atwal, Manitoba's acting deputy chief public health officer.
In addition, the text messages will be used to help monitor people in quarantine. It provides recipients the ability to confirm their isolation status, report any changes in their symptoms, and to request contact with a contract tracer.
“Text messages are being provided as an additional service to augment the overall contact tracing capacity and provides another option for cases and contacts to interact with public health officials,” said Atwal.
The addition of text messages in the fight against COVID-19 has been in the works for a while and will be ramped up in the next few days. Atwal says it’s important for Manitobans to respond to the messages as soon as possible to improve the accuracy and speed of efforts to contain the virus.