The term contact tracing is being used more and more, as public health officials work with the community to stop the spread of coronavirus.
Public health officials then reach out directly by phone.
“We will actually call those contacts and talk to them about their risk for COVID-19 if they have any symptoms and what they should do if they develop symptoms,” Gregg said.
Public health clinic manager Stacey Gregg has a team of eight people at Jackson County Public Health. For them, even though working from home is new, the work is familiar.
“We actually do contact tracing for most of our communicable disease cases, so doing it for corona or covid19 isn’t really out of the norm for us. It’s what we typically do,” Gregg said.
The work is important, Gregg said, but it can be misunderstood. Community spread isn’t what many think.
“When we’re thinking about community spread, we look specifically at close contact. That’s actually defined as contacting someone within six feet of someone for over an hour,” Gregg said.
Gregg and her team aren’t looking at brief interactions in the community like exchanging money with a cashier.
“COVID-19 is not as communicable as say measles where we would put information out about where those persons had been,” Gregg said.