Vigo County Health Department overwhelmed by contact tracing, issues new guidelines

Local News

VIGO COUNTY, Ind. (WTWO/WAWV) – The Vigo County Health Department issued a statement saying that due to a large number of COVID-19 cases in the area, it cannot continue to contact trace everyone.

Instead, VCHD is prioritizing cases based on aged and risk factors. Cases it cannot conduct contact tracing on will be handled by the Indiana State Department of Health’s contact tracers, though in both cases delays should be expected. VCHD issued guidelines for those who have tested positive or have been in contact with a positive case to follow until they are contacted.

Those who have received notification from a testing site that their results are positive are to quarantine. The quarantine period is 10 days from symptoms; those without symptoms will quarantine 10 days from the day of the test. The infectious timeframe is 48 hours prior to symptoms (if asymptomatic, 48 hours prior to testing). Those who know they exposed people during their infectious time should notify those they have had contact with that they need to quarantine.

For COVID-19, the following conditions make someone considered a close contact of a positive:

  • Being within 6 feet of someone who has COVID-19 for a total of 15 minutes or more.
  • Having provided care at home to someone who is sick with COVID-19.
  • Having direct physical contact with the person testing positive, as in engaging in hugs or kisses.
  • Sharing eating or drinking utensils with someone who has tested positive.
  • If someone with COVID-19 sneezed, coughed, or somehow got respiratory droplets on another person, that person is considered a close contact.

Being a close contact goes for 48 hours prior to a positive test’s symptoms showed up. If they are asymptomatic, being a close contract goes for being near them 48 hours prior to the test date. Close contacts need to quarantine 14 days from their last exposure to the positive case. VCHD recommends that those who wish to be tested do so within five days from exposure or once symptoms have started.

Vigo County’s and Indiana’s health departments can provide individuals with letters for the employers of those who need to quarantine stating the timeframe. Those in need of a work letter are asked to be patient as the health departments are working through the many cases as quickly as possible. Those in need of a letter should reach back out to their contact tracer.

The Indiana State Department of Health will reach out via text, phone call, and letter. The text will come from (877) 548-3444 and the phone call will be from (833) 670-0067.

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