FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 16, 2021
CONTACT: RoAnn Warden, Public Health Officer, 608-328-9390
Green County Public Health Implementing Crisis Standards for Contact Tracing
Green County – From November 1st through November 15th, 349 Green County residents tested positive for COVID-19. At this rate, November 2021 is on track to be the month with the most COVID-19 cases in Green County in the history of this pandemic. This large volume of cases has surpassed the contact tracing capacity of Green County Public Health. Our department has now moved to crisis standards of contact tracing.
At this time our department is unable to contact every individual who tests positive for COVID-19 and their close contacts. Green County Public Health continues to recognize the importance of contact tracing as a tool to help prevent further spread of COVID-19. Our department is currently prioritizing contacting the families of school aged children who test positive for COVID-19. This is because many children are still not vaccinated against COVID-19, and we are working with local school districts to prevent further spread in classrooms. Our staff will contact other community members who test positive as we are able to. We have begun utilizing the Wisconsin Department of Health Services State Contact Tracing Team, meaning that Green County residents who test positive for COVID-19 may receive a call from a contact tracer from this team, rather than from a Green County Public Health employee. Additionally, community members may experience a delay in the time between when they receive their test results electronically, and when a contact tracer is able to reach out to them.
Green County Public Health is asking for the assistance of residents, businesses, schools and community organizations to slow this surge of cases. We ask this of you as fellow community members of Green County. COVID-19 does not have to be spreading at the rate that it is.
Individuals who test positive for COVID-19 should isolate away from others for 10 days from when their symptoms began. Those who test positive but do not have symptoms should isolate for 10 days from when they had their positive test. For more information about what to do after a positive test result please view this fact sheet from the Wisconsin Department of Health Services: https://www.dhs.wisconsin.gov/publications/p02627.pdf
Those who test positive should notify the people they have been in close contact with, and inform them to quarantine for 14 days. Close contact is defined as being within 6 feet of the individual who tested positive for more than 15 minutes. People with COVID-19 are infectious and can pass along the virus to others the two days before their symptoms start and for 10 days after symptoms begin – people having close contact with someone who tested positive during this timeframe should quarantine. Individuals who are fully vaccinated (two weeks after completing their vaccine series) against COVID-19 do not need to quarantine as long as they do not have symptoms of COVID-19. Everyone, including individuals who are vaccinated, should get tested for COVID-19 5-7 days after they were exposed.
In addition to isolating if you’ve tested positive, and quarantining if you’ve been exposed, other actions are necessary to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Getting the COVID-19 vaccine is a safe and effective way to help prevent the spread of COVID-19, severe disease, hospitalization and death due to COVID-19. Green County residents who are 5 years of age an older is eligible to get a free COVID-19 vaccine. Community members should wear a mask while in indoor public places due to the high level of disease spread in the county. Masks help prevent the wearer from spreading or getting COVID-19. Practicing physical distancing, staying at least 6 feet away from others, can also help mitigate the spread of COVID-19. Along with these steps, anyone who is feeling sick should get tested for COVID-19. Even allergy or cold-like symptoms can actually be COVID-19. To find COVID-19 vaccine providers or COVID-19 testing locations please visit our website: gcpublichealth.org.