RICHMOND, Ky. (WTVQ)-The Madison County Health Department says, because of a surge in coronavirus cases, it’ll be relying on you to help with contract tracing efforts.
The department reported its highest one-day case total this week, 144 confirmed cases as of November 16th, more than doubling the previous highest one-day count of 71 August 27th.
According to the department, that is straining public health resources.
“No local health department can keep up the pace along with the increasing number of cases and contacts,” said Madison County Health Department Director Nancy Crewe. “Even with addition of more contact tracers and disease investigators to our team, the numbers of cases are growing at such a rate as to overwhelm our capabilities. Accordingly, MCHD is adjusting our priorities for case investigations and contact tracing in line with guidance issued by the Kentucky Department for Public Health.”
The department says that means contact tracers will focus on finding healthcare workers, first responders, vulnerable populations, areas where a lot of people live close together, and events where people may have been exposed.
If the health department calls you, a contact tracer might ask you to help by notifying any close contacts that don’t fit those categories they’re focusing on.
“Rapidly identifying and isolating confirmed cases remains top priority for MCHD to mitigate the spread. However, as cases continue to accelerate, there may be a delay between the time a person is notified of a positive result and the issuance of an isolation order from MCHD. Individuals should not wait on a call from the health department to begin isolating or quarantining at home,” the health department said.
Crewe says you should protect yourself:
* Wear a face mask in public
* Wash your hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
* Maintain a distance of at least 6 feet between yourself and other people
* Avoid large gatherings and crowded places.
* Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
* Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
* Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue or your elbow, not with your hands.
* Disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a household cleaning spray or wipe.