February 16 2021
HAMILTON, ON – Today, the City of Hamilton launches Virtual Assistant (VA), a new tool which will enable Public Health Services to increase the speed and capacity for contact tracing and case management. The VA is an internet and text messaging tool that will support the COVID-19 response in our community.
Residents recently tested for COVID-19 or close contacts of someone identified as positive may receive a text message from Hamilton Public Health Services with a secure link to complete a personal assessment form. The text will allow the resident to click on a secure link to a form to provide information about health status, close contacts and other important information.
By providing information using the online form before a call from Public Health, the investigator or contact tracer can review the information ahead of time and use the call to confirm and verify the information provided.
The form is voluntary and will take approximately 10 minutes to complete. Residents can opt out by texting the word “STOP”. If individuals have questions, they can continue to call Public Health to get answers. This tool will add another level of support for our residents and enhance Hamilton Public Health Service’s case management and contact tracing efforts.
This process will help us to quickly identify the contacts of cases and get in touch with them quickly in a timely manner to reduce the further potential spread.
If any member of the public is feeling unwell, it is vital that they stay home and get tested for COVID-19. Testing and assessment centre information can be found at www.hamilton.ca/COVIDtesting.
- The Virtual Assistant can be used on mobile devices and is iOS and Android compatible. The online form will function if the link is used in a browser on a desktop or laptop computer; however, it was created for a mobile experience.
- All information collected is kept confidential and protected by Ontario’s strict privacy laws and will only be used for public health purposes.
- The Virtual Assistant tool is part of the Province’s case and contact management system.