Pittsylvania-Danville, Southside Health Districts prioritize resources for COVID-19 contact tracing, case investigations


FILE – This undated electron microscope image made available by the U.S. National Institutes of Health in February 2020 shows the Novel Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, yellow, emerging from the surface of cells, blue/pink, cultured in the lab. (NIAID-RML via AP, File)

DANVILLE, Va. (WFXR) – Officials with the Pittsylvania-Danville and Southside Health Districts along with the Virginia Department of Health will begin prioritizing COVID-19 case investigations and contact tracing.

This is due to the substantial levels of community spread of COVID-19.

Prioritizing enables the health department to focus available resources on investigations that are most likely to slow the spread of COVID-19.

Local health department staff will prioritize their case investigation and contact tracing efforts to identify outbreaks and those cases with the highest risk of further spread of the disease.

“It is nearly impossible and much less effective to try to reach every case and trace every one of their contacts in this time of substantial levels of transmission. We have increased the number of staff working on case investigations and contact tracing, but transmission is too widespread for traditional methods to be effective or even possible at this time.”

Scott Spillmann, M.D., Director of the Pittsylvania-Danville and Southside Health Districts

With prioritization, not all cases and not all close contacts will be contacted by VDH. Those who develop symptoms should get tested early, self-isolate and advise those with whom they have been in contact to quarantine.

The VDH and the CDC continue to recommend a 14-day quarantine following contact with a person who has tested positive for COVID-19.

CDC guidance now includes two additional shortened options for the length of quarantine.

For those without symptoms, quarantine can end after day 10 (counting the date of last exposure is day zero), or after day seven, if a viral test (PCR or antigen test) on or after day five is negative.

After ending quarantine, you should continue to monitor for symptoms until 14 days after exposure and continue to follow precautions including wearing a mask, socially distance and wash hands.

For additional information on how to notify close contacts and calculate dates of release from isolation and quarantine, visit the following websites:

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