Test positive? New website and hotline offer guidance

(This story was updated on 2/8/2022 to reflect the hotline now taking calls related to positive COVID-19 tests in K-12 schools.)

As the Omicron variant begins to drive case counts higher in Oregon, many more people need guidance and resources to ensure they and those around them stay safe.

Oregon Health Authority (OHA) has launched a new website that includes what to do if you test positive, if you have been exposed, and how to seek resources if you’re isolating at home and need support.  The website also includes a voluntary survey for people who’ve tested positive to help OHA and the larger community understand how and where the virus is spreading.

What do I do if I test positive? 

  • Stay home and away from others for at least 5 days, so you don’t spread the virus to others.
  • Tell your close contacts and people you’ve been in direct contact with.
  • Have questions or need help? Call 866-917-8881 to speak with a public health professional.
  • Complete the COVID-19 Case Survey. Your local public health department may send you a link by letter, text, or email to the COVID-19 Case Survey, or you can fill out the survey on the OHA website.  

New tool to help track the virus

Before the Omicron surge, local public health (LPHA) professionals around the state called COVID-positive individuals to gather detailed information and help connect them to resources. This helped OHA track virus activity. With the Omicron surge, LPHAs must now focus their limited resources on investigating high-risk outbreaks and maintaining essential services.

For this reason, OHA has moved to an online self-directed survey for people who have tested positive for COVID-19.

Starting today, Jan. 12, 2022, data collection will now happen through the COVID-19 Case Survey.  This is not entirely new. The state began using online surveys for COVID-19 data collection in 2021, and we are now increasing the use of this tool. Now, rather than a phone interview with a case investigator, we are asking all people with a positive test result to complete the online COVID-19 Case Survey.

Whether you tested positive at a testing event, your doctor’s office, or with an at-home test, we ask everyone to complete the COVID-19 Case Survey.

Why should you take the survey?  

Accurate data collection empowers all of us to understand the movements and behavior of the virus to keep our loved ones and neighbors safe during these uncertain times. The online survey will be available in 12 different languages and the hotline is staffed by public health professionals to assist people who have tested positive or need to isolate or quarantine.

We are here for you!

If you need help, public health professionals staffing OHA’s new toll-free hotline (866-917-8881) can answer questions about isolation and quarantine, help you fill out the survey (available in 12 languages) and help you with barriers to quarantine and isolation.

Positive cases in schools

  • Parents and caregivers of K-12 students who have tested positive or been exposed to someone with COVID-19 can call 866-917-8881 to talk to a trained professional.
  • Hotline staff can answer general questions about isolation and quarantine for students and their families.
  • They can also provide general health information about COVID-19.
  • Hotline staff cannot provide dates for when a quarantining or isolating student will be able to return to school. Parents and caregivers should contact the school for that information.

The 2-1-1 community support team will continue to be available to help with general needs.  

You can find more resources at the Safe and Strong Oregon website (www.safestrongoregon.org).  

Thank you for doing your part to continue keeping us all safe by practicing COVID-19 safety measures, getting vaccinated, and filling out the online COVID-19 Case Survey when you or a dependent test positive for COVID-19.