For Immediate Release: July 29, 2020
COVID-19 Contact Tracing is a Vital Partnership between the Community and the Health Department
Contact tracing is the process of determining who has been exposed to an infected person. It is one of the primary tools of local health departments around the United States used to stop the spread of infectious diseases like COVID-19.
Contact tracing begins as soon as a positive test result is reported to the Public Health Department.
In addition to calling the positive patient with their results, the Public Health Department staff will interview the patient to trace their movements and contacts. The patient will be asked where and with whom they were in the 14 days prior to illness onset, or if asymptomatic, 14 days prior to being tested. This interview generates a list of names that contract tracers begin calling.
The Public Health Department requires positive patients to isolate at home and contacts to the patient to quarantine at home. According to HIPAA privacy laws, the Public Health Department cannot reveal the name of the positive patient to the contacts who are being called. Contacts will be told that they have been in contact with a COVID-19 positive patient. A letter will be sent to the contact explaining their quarantine mobility restrictions.
For those who have been tested and are waiting on their results, they should expect a call from an unknown number in the days following their test. The Public Health Department will not leave test results on voice mail, but rather will leave a voice mail that says to call the hotline at (530) 233-1350.
It is vitally important that persons getting tested at Health Department testing sites give their current, working telephone number. Some people could not get results because they can’t be reached. Without this contact, more people could become infected.
The Public Health Department does not share data with other agencies. The patient’s and contact’s information are confidential. It is through the partnership of contact tracing that citizens directly assist the Health Department in stopping the COVID-19 pandemic.
Everyone has an opportunity to do their part by social distancing, wearing a mask when in public and when it is difficult to social distance, staying at home except for essential travel only, washing hands frequently and using hand sanitizer, and isolating at home if you are sick.
Modoc County Community COVID-19 testing is every Tuesday from 10 AM to 1 PM, at the MHS football field. Please register and set up your appointment at:
www.projectbaseline.com/covid19. For registration help, call 530-233-1350.