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(Richmond, Va.) — Virginia is making the process easier for people to be notified of positive COVID-19 test results — and anonymously share those results with others who may have been exposed. Starting on Thursday, January 28, 2021, VDH will begin sending a series of text messages to people who receive a positive COVID-19 viral test result in Virginia.These texts, which are automatically triggered when VDH receives any positive COVID-19 lab result registered with a valid mobile phone number, will provide rapid notification and encourage anyone who has tested positive for COVID-19 to stay home and away from other people. The texts will come from 804-336-3915 and will only be sent between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. The messaging, which is also available in Spanish, will then provide a link to the new COVIDWISE Verification Code Portal. This online portal allows individuals who have tested positive for COVID-19 to obtain a self-verification code, which will let them anonymously submit their test result through COVIDWISE, Virginia’s free COVID-19 Exposure Notifications app. These verification codes ensure that only valid positive COVID-19 tests are reported in COVIDWISE.“Using tools like automated text messages provide additional options to help Virginia expand its existing exposure notifications and contact tracing operations without compromising user privacy or security,” said State Health Commissioner M. Norman Oliver, MD, MA. “This technology will quickly notify you if you have a positive test result and provide valuable safety information, so you can self-isolate effectively, seek timely medical attention, and reduce potential exposure risk. It will also encourage you to anonymously share your results through COVIDWISE with other users who’ve likely been exposed, so you can help protect your family, friends, and community.”VDH remains steadfastly committed to COVIDWISE privacy protections and continued adoption and widespread use of exposure notifications as a tool to support the public’s health and reduce the spread of the virus.To learn more about COVIDWISE, or to download the app, visit www.covidwise.org.For more information on COVID-19 in Virginia, visit www.vdh.virginia.gov/coronavirus and www.cdc.gov/coronavirus.Media Contact: Melissa Gordon, VDH, firstname.lastname@example.org