(Dover, Ohio) – Health department officials are asking community members to work with them to help slow the spread of COVID-19.
Contact tracing and self-isolation or quarantine of persons with COVID-19 and close contacts are critical to helping slow transmission of COVID-19 in communities, officials explained in a press release from the Tuscarawas County Health Department. Officials indicated that the actions of individuals will help make everyone safer. Local public health workers are working 7 days a week to work with the community to help slow the spread of COVID-19.
“We conduct contact tracing every day for various infectious diseases and COVID-19 is no different,” explained Katie Seward, Tuscarawas County Health Commissioner. “If you’re sick, our public health professionals will call you to interview you and find out who you may have come into contact with and potentially exposed to your illness. Answering our calls makes you part of the solution to help control the spread of COVID-19 in our community. Our professionals are calling to help you. Making the choice to help us in the fight against COVID-19 helps to keep you, your family, and your neighbors safe.”
Officials explained that the following describes the contact tracing process that will take place should you start to feel ill.
- You call your healthcare provider, who may decide to test you for COVID-19. While you wait for the test results, we ask that you stay home and isolate yourself from others. Self-isolation means staying home in a specific room away from other people and using a separate bathroom and bedroom, if possible. Self-isolation is critical to protecting those you live with as well as your community. Self-isolation also helps slow the spread of the virus and can help keep your family, friends, and neighbors healthy.
- If you test positive for COVID-19, your healthcare provider will call you to let you know that you tested positive. They will notify the local health department, who will then notify the Ohio Department of Health so that the case is added to the State’s data. During this time, you continue to stay home and isolate yourself. Seek medical care if your symptoms become severe such as trouble breathing, persistent pain or pressure in the chest, confusion, inability to wake or stay awake, or bluish lips or face.
- Next, a local public health worker who is performing contact tracing will reach out to you to create a list of those you have been in contact with who may now develop the virus. Your list of contacts will include people you were within 6 feet of for at least 15 minutes during the 48 hours prior to when your symptoms began and when you went into isolation. During the contact tracing interview, the public health worker will ask for your contact information, age, and other health information so that they can ensure you receive the support you need during your recovery. Your personal information will not be shared with others, including those whom you name as contacts.
- While you are home and isolating, the public health worker who is conducting contact tracing will call those who you may have been around and may have been exposed. Again, your name will not be revealed to those you came into contact with, even if they ask. It is important that public health workers call your contacts so that medical support and guidance can be provided.
- Those you have been in contact with will be asked to quarantine and monitor their symptoms for cough, fever, shortness of breath, loss of smell and/or taste, abdominal pain, nausea and vomiting, headache, fatigue, muscle aches, and diarrhea. If they show no symptoms, after 14 days, their quarantine lifts. If these individuals do begin to show symptoms, they should contact their healthcare provider who may tell them to go and get a test, and they should immediately isolate.
COVID-19 drive-up testing is also available by appointment only at the Tuscarawas County Health Department. Call 330-343-5555, ext. 100 for more information about the testing process. For more information about COVID-19 within Tuscarawas County, visit the Tuscarawas County Health Department’s Facebook page or website at tchdnow.org. For State and National information, visit coronavirus.ohio.gov and cdc.gov.