DHHS ramping up contact tracing team, looking to get to 1,000 tracers
Thursday afternoon, Governor Pete Ricketts talked about ramping up contact tracing in the state.
"We're working on getting 1,000 contact tracers to help the local health departments," said Ricketts.
DHHS said contact tracers are detectives who figure out who has been exposed to COVID-19. Their goal is to quickly identify who has been exposed and stop the spread of the virus.
Officials said it starts with a positive test. Once a person tests positive the local health department or a contact tracer will reach out to the individual and tell them what they need to do. They will get information of where they've been and who they could have exposed.
If you are contacted and test positive, officials say you'll want to have a calendar to write down when you felt the symptoms. They'll ask questions like what symptoms are you feeling? Have you been to the hospital? Do you have underlying medical conditions? Where were you 48 hours prior to the symptoms and who have you been in contact with?
DHHS said being in contact with others doesn't mean just passing by, you have to be within six feet of that person for more than 10 minutes. They say you'll want to be honest about what you're experiencing so they can help. All the information you give to health officials is protected and only used to help stop the spread of the virus.
Right now, DHHS has 277 contact tracers on their team. They're looking to ramp up to 1,000.