Contact Us

WOU Community Health + Polk County COVID-19 Project

Dan Dowhower

PhD, MPH, MS, Project Director


Contact tracing is the process of identifying, notifying, and monitoring anyone who came in close contact with an individual who tested positive for COVID-19. Contact tracers are the individuals who do the identifying, notifying, and monitoring.

Polk County Hotline

Need help or have questions about Covid-19? Call the Polk County hotline at 503-623-8175 and press 5 to speak to a staff person. Open weekdays 8:00-12:00 & 1:00-5:00. 

For more information about Covid-19 visits   

You can also call OHA at 866-917-8881. Open weekdays 8:00am-6:00pm and Saturday 10:00am-4:00pm, or visit their Covid-19 page for more information at  

Contact Tracing Education Video

What is contact tracing? Our team has developed an educational training video to explain what contact tracing is, define important terms, explain what real contact tracers will ask you when you answer the call, and how it all works.     

Meet a Few of Our Contact Tracers

All our contact tracers are friendly community health students from Western Oregon University who’ve completed required OHA Contact Tracing and HIPAA training.

Sarah Meyer

I’m a contact tracer because I enjoy supporting my community and making sure individuals and families stay safe and healthy during this time.

Sonia Castaneda Felix

Me da gusto apoyarlos a ustedes y sus seres queridos durante estos momentos difíciles!

I am glad to be of help for you and your loved ones through these difficult times!

What to Expect from Our Contact Tracers

  1. If you were around someone who has tested positive for COVID-19, one of our contact tracers will call to notify you.

    We will ask how you are feeling, encourage you to get tested, and connect you with local resources. We will also provide instructions for self-quarantining and set-up a schedule and contact method for the daily symptom and temperature check-ins.

  2. Each day during the 14 day quarantine period, we will touch base to check on your symptoms and record your temperature. This is usually done over the phone.

  3. On the last day of the 14 day quarantine period, we’ll confirm that you’re safe to end the quarantine. As long as you haven’t had any symptoms or tested positive for COVID-19, you should be cleared to end the quarantine and go back to normal activities.

Four Things Contact Tracers Will Never Do

Contact tracers will never ask for any kind of financial information. This includes bank account information or credit card numbers.

Contact tracers will not ask for your social security number or about your immigration status.

You will not receive text messages asking you to click on a link.

Contact tracers will not give your name or information to anyone else. Public health investigations are private and all information is kept confidential.