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Local Contact Tracing Status

Our cases continue to rise. The post Thanksgiving increase in cases will begin mid to late week, and will continue through December and into January.
 
Hospitals are very, very concerned. Measures are being taken to plan for possible lack of regular beds, ICU beds, and ventilators. Staffing shortages due to COVID infections and quarantines is a real issue for every hospital as staff are impacted by whatever is in the community. One hospital system has canceled non-emergent procedures, and a second will do the same shortly.
 
When case numbers get as high as they are currently, research shows that contact tracing is of limited use in a community. Public Health will do our very best to be in touch with every person who has tested positive, but we are no longer able to thoroughly contact trace.

We will continue to investigate all high risk situations/exposures. Letters will be sent to positive cases with instructions. We are no longer able to send letters to contacts/those in quarantine.
 
We will ask each person testing positive to:
1. Stay home for 10 days and until their symptoms are improved and they have had no fever for 24 hours without use of medication. Call a provider or 911 if symptoms are concerning.

2. Get in touch with everyone they were near for two days before symptoms began (for 15 mins. or more over 24 hours, and within 6 feet, whether or not masks were worn), and ask them to quarantine for 14 days. Quarantine must be held for the entire 14 days even if a negative test result is obtained since people may get sick any time up to 14 days after exposure.
 
The very best thing to do at this time is stay home as much as possible, stay apart from others, and wear a mask if you must go out. Work from home if you can, and order take out for dinner!

Jennifer Bailer, RN, MS
Health Commissioner  
Butler County General Health District