South Heartland District Health Department puts emphasis on contact tracing
HASTINGS, Neb. (KSNB) -The South Heartland District Health Department is putting more of an emphasis on contact tracing. Since the district moved to Phase 3 there have been larger groups of close contacts when someone tests positive.
With a goal of contacting everyone in a timely manner they have asked for the help of the Department of Health and Human Services to reach out to everyone involved. The state has trained hundreds of people to assist local health departments.
“It’s harder for us to accomplish something within our 24-hour goal,”said Executive Director Michele Bever . “Another thing is sometimes it is hard to get a hold of people so the larger the groups it seems like a percentage of people for some reason we’re just unable to reach.”
Bever said the contact tracing is important to keep anyone who may have been exposed in quarantine to prevent any further spread of the virus.
“It is quite easy to spread a couple of days before you even have symptoms and know,” Bever said. “So that is the purpose of the quarantine and one of the challenges is to make sure people understand what they’re being ordered to do.”
There have been some challenges getting in contact with people from the large group exposures. They have to rely on people's memories and make sure people answer their phones when they get the call.
They have also been working on making testing more easily available. Mary Lanning will begin hosting Test Nebraska multiple times a week starting Aug. 17.
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