Call 2-1-1 for COVID-19 questions

The County of San Mateo has replaced a local call center number with a new service that will more than double the hours residents can get information about the coronavirus (also known as COVID-19) – 2-1-1.

2-1-1 is a confidential service accessible 24 hours a day, seven days a week in 180 languages. Callers can get answers to questions about how residents, schools and businesses should prepare for COVID-19, as well as ways to prevent the spread of the virus.

The County established a local call center after the County of San Mateo proclaiming a local emergency and County Health declaring a local health emergency. By engaging 2-1-1, the County taps into a nationwide network of trained professionals with experience fielding questions and providing fact-based answers.

“We understand a number of residents have concerns about their health and the health of their families,” said County Manager Mike Callagy. “The 2-1-1 service provides exceptional service that will be available to our residents when they need it.”

The service also offers a text option.

Text “coronavirus” to “211211” to receive useful information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. After receiving a return text message, residents can enter a ZIP code for county-specific health-related links.

The County launched a local call service on Thursday staffed by a dozen County employees. The center received 233 calls through 10 a.m. Friday.

Updates: The County of San Mateo’s Emergency Operations Center remains open to coordinate countywide response and communications in response to the situation.

Protecting public health and ensuring public safety is a priority for the County of San Mateo.

From the Health Officer: San Mateo County Health Officer Scott Morrow is now recommending that all non-essential gatherings should be canceled, postponed, or done remotely. This does not apply to schools, which are an essential activity, though school leaders should make decisions about extra-curricular activities. San Mateo County Health supports organizations as they strive to balance the needs of their operations while protecting the health of their communities.

Additional information and updates can be found at https://www.smchealth.org/coronavirus