The Saskatchewan Health Authority has moved all initial COVID-19 notifications to automatic texts or calls.

Back in May of this year, the SHA launched this program to disperse negative COVID-19 results to people who received tests. Starting on September 17th, anyone who got tested for COVID-19, positive or negative, will receive notifications via an automatic text or phone call.

The SHA is calling this an efficient and cost-effective way to notify individuals of their COVID-19 status, and especially reach those who are positive so that they can start self-isolation prior to a personal call from public health.

When people get tested for COVID-19, they continue to provide their phone numbers. People over 12 will get the notification any time between 8 AM and 10 PM, based on processing times. Parents or guardians can also receive notifications on behalf of the people under 18 in their home.

People who receive positive results will get a follow-up call from public health or a community health nurse within 24 to 48 hours with further direction on self-isolation and contact tracing.

People will be able to identify if this call or text is from the SHA by looking at the number. Phone calls will come from 306-655-4603, and texts will come from 89364.

At no time, the SHA notes, will financial information be asked for. The only personal information a public health official will ask for is what’s needed to verify or confirm that the correct person has been contacted.