High demand for contact tracing in Woodbury County due to rising COVID-19 cases

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SIOUX CITY, Iowa (KCAU) – The Siouxland District Health Department is looking for help to alleviate the need for contact tracing in the community.

Deputy Director Tyler Brock says COVID-19 cases continue to rise in Woodbury County, so does the need for contact tracing. He said not only will additional contact tracers help with the demand but it will allow the department to do some things it used to do.

Brock adds contact tracing is a fairly simple process.

“For COVID-19, we call people. We talk to people a little bit about who they’ve been in contact with, where they go to school, where they work. We’re really looking for those people they have been in close contact with, less than six feet distance for more than 15 minutes,” Brock said.

Brock adds when a positive test is confirmed, the health department will notify people within one to three days.

He said to speed-up the process, they need more staff and cooperation from people who test positive

“When I went in for the visit, they asked me that I needed to go back 48 hours prior to being, becoming ill, and contact the people that I knew I had been with and for me, that was easy, I wasn’t out and about in a large group,” said Jodi Thompson, a Plymouth County resident.

Limiting interactions is what Brock said will play a part in reducing the need for contact tracing.

“It’s been a major challenge for us. Again, it’s one of the things we want to be able to, we want to keep our COVID response at a high level while at the same time expanding some of our normal services that we’ve had to suspend over the last few months. It’s time to be getting those things going on. We know that public health doesn’t begin and end with COVID-19,” Brock added.

The health department is currently looking to add on a few more hands to help with contact tracing.

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