SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) – With states in the reopening phase, epidemiologists at the Coastal Health District have started the process of contact tracing for COVID-19. It’s been used for years to stop the spread of infectious diseases.
Anytime a new case of COVID-19 emerges in the area the health district is looking into where those people have been. They’re asking certain questions to track down others who may have been infected as well.
Since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic health departments have been contact tracing.
“Contact tracing isn’t new for infectious disease in general. it’s a tool used by epidemiologists to prevent the spread of other illnesses,” Epidemiologist with the Coastal Health District, Elizabeth Goff said.
To manage the spread of COVID-19 in coastal Georgia the Coastal Health District is making the calls to those who may have been in contact with the virus.
“We’re looking for people who would’ve been less than six feet for longer than 15 minutes,” Goff said.
When a COVID-19 test is positive, the case is assigned a contact tracker. They call the individual to see where they have been and who they have encountered.
“So what we do is anytime we get reported of a positive case for COVID-19 we do an interview and we ask them where have they been two days prior to their onset of symptoms begin,” Goff said.
From there health officials will ask that you quarantine for at least 14 days to prevent further spread of the virus.
With summer-blooming, health experts are asking all to stay aware of their surroundings and treat all situations like you could come in contact with COVID-19.
“Social distancing, wearing a mask those are some good practices that people can do. We’re still in the middle of a pandemic so I think we should treat it as such,” Goff said.
Epidemiologists still feel that getting tested is one of the best ways to know if you’ve been exposed to the virus. Testing sites are now open to all who want a test.