Hundreds to be trained in effort to expand contact tracing measures


COLUMBUS, Ohio (WDTN) – Friday, Governor DeWine announced that hundreds of people will be trained in contact tracing to help the state identify who may have COVID-19.

The governor says contact tracing is one of the strongest weapons the state has in the fight against the coronavirus.

Dr. Mark Hurst, the Department of Health’s Medical Director, spoke in Dr. Amy Acton’s absence on Friday. He explained the fundamentals of contact tracing, saying anyone who believes they may have the coronavirus should first contact their healthcare provider, then isolate themselves.

If a test comes back positive, they are to have no contact with family or friends, and after that positive result, a healthcare worker will contact them for an extensive phone interview that takes roughly 30 to 45 minutes.

They will ask who the infected person had been in contact with, not just while ill, but in the 48 hours before becoming ill. The amount of risk to those people depends on how close the infected person was to others and how long the exposure lasted.

If close contact is determined, the healthcare worker will then reach out to those people to notify them of the need to self-quarantine and monitor their symptoms and temperature twice a day.

Dr. Hurst says the response has been outstanding so far.

“I think most people know, they want to protect themselves, but they want to protect their family and friends and other loved ones and other ones in the community. I checked with our legal counsel earlier today about how many circumstances there have been where we had concerns about people not doing it, and she said less than 10 or so out of all those 15,000 contacts that have been in place,” he said.

Governor DeWine says 1,750 people will be trained in contact tracing measures.

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