Contact Tracing Notification Process

novel coronavirus (COVID-19)

Last Updated: November 23, 2020

Alberta Health Services (AHS) will endeavour to directly notify close contacts of cases of COVID-19 confirmed in three priority groups only:

  • health care workers,
  • minors (parents will still be notified by AHS if their child is exposed at school); and,
  • individuals who live or work within congregate or communal facilities.

Albertans who are not within the priority groups listed above, who have tested positive for COVID-19, are asked to identify their own close contacts of the exposure.

If you have been notified that you have tested positive for COVID-19, use the below information immediately, to identify and submit your close contact information.


Received a Positive COVID-19 Test Result?

You must immediately:

  1. Self-isolate
  2. Complete the COVID-19 Close Contacts Identification Guide
  3. Enter your close contacts into the COVID-19 Contact Tracing Tool

Note: The tool will instruct you to enter such information as name, date and locations of contact, phone number and other information that will help the AHS contact tracing team identify anyone in priority groups, and allow for appropriate means of contact tracing.

You may receive a follow-up call from AHS to discuss the information you entered.

COVID-19 Close Contacts Tool


Additional Information

Q: What is a close contact?

A: Close contacts are defined as anyone who was within two metres of a positive case of COVID-19 for 15 minutes or more of cumulative contact, without consistent and appropriate use of personal protective equipment (PPE). A close contact is ALSO someone who has had direct contact with bodily fluids of a person who has COVID-19 (e.g., was coughed or sneezed on), or who provided direct care for a person who has COVID-19, without consistent and appropriate use of PPE.

  • For sports that involve close, sustained or intermittent and repeated contact, all members of the teams playing each other are considered close contacts when there is a case on a team.

Anyone who falls into any of the above categories is considered a close contact of a confirmed case of COVID-19.

Q: How do I know who my close contacts are?

A: You will need to look back at your calendar and identify anyone who you were in close contact with (see the above definition) in the two days leading up to when you became sick (or two days before you had your COVID-19 swab taken if you didn’t have any symptoms) and any days since you started experiencing symptoms or after you had your swab taken (if you didn’t have any symptoms).

Use the COVID-19 Close Contacts Identification Guide to help you capture this information then enter it immediately into the COVID-19 Close Contacts Tool. It is essential you do this as promptly and completely as possible, so that we can help you notify your close contacts efficiently.

If you don’t have phone numbers for close contacts, you can discuss with the member of the close contact tracing team when they call you. We may ask you to still notify your contact through another means, such as using this email template.

Q: What if I do not have a phone number for my close contact?

A: If you do not have a phone number to enter into the tool, AHS Public Health will work with you to determine if there is an alternative contact method, which could include email (for example, template for email to close contacts is available below).

Close Contact Notification Email Template

Please note: if you can set read receipts on your email, we recommend that you do when you send these emails.

Hi – this is ___ (name of positive case). I am writing to inform you that I have tested positive for COVID-19. Alberta Health Services recommends that I notify you that you have been exposed to COVID-19.

I am sorry to have to tell you this. It’s very important that you MUST immediately self-isolate, and go to www.ahs.ca/covid, to complete the online assessment and go for COVID-19 testing.

According to my files, you were exposed to me on ___ (date that this person was in close contact with you). You will need to isolate for 14 days from that date.

I don’t have any further information I can share, but I can tell you that you can find more information about COVID-19, isolation, symptoms, testing, and getting health care at ahs.ca/InfoforCloseContacts. You can also call 811 if you have questions about your health.

I will respect your privacy and I ask that you please do the same for me and the other people who you think may be my close contacts.

Q: What if one or more of my close contacts falls under one of the three priority groups identified by AHS?

A: When you speak to the AHS team member who may call you about your positive COVID-19 test result, they may discuss all close contacts with you.

AHS will endeavour to directly notify workplaces of your case, and discuss with you notification of event organizers. Classroom contacts may still receive email notification from AHS.

Event organizers (with 10 or more participants) and workplaces will continue to notify contacts via email.

Q: What if one or more of my close contacts are connected to my school, workplace or event I attended?

A: When you speak to the AHS team member who calls you about your positive COVID-19 test result, they will discuss all close contacts with you.

AHS will directly notify workplaces of your case, and discuss with you notification of event organizers.

Q: I attended an event (dinner party, yoga class, wedding, etc.) while I was infectious. What should I do?

A: Please contact the event organizer. You can work with the event organizer to support the event organizer in notifying other people who attended the event at same time as you. For events with 10 or more individuals the organizer or instructor will notify contacts.

Q: I attended work while I was infectious. What should I do?

A: AHS will endeavour to inform your employer, and request that your employer to notify workplace contacts.

Q. My child was at school while infectious. What should I do?

A: Please contact your school. AHS may contact you (parent/guardian) and complete the case investigation. AHS will endeavour to contact the Superintendent and work with the school to determine your child’s close contacts and AHS will notify the parents of the children who are close contacts.