Expanding contact tracing to curb COVID-19 spread


ATLANTA, Ga. (WJBF) – Today marks two weeks since Georgia fully reopened after the state wide shelter expired, with the state’s health emergency expiring June 12th.

State health data now shows that Georgia’s curve is decreasing – because there is a 14 day lag in reporting results. But to what extent has social distancing paid off?

Atlanta Bureau Chief, Archith Seshadri, shows you what steps the state is taking to get back to normal.

Georgia’s governor says they’ve seen record low ventilator use, more hospital beds to deal with capacity in the state. Now they’re focus is on contact tracing and mitigating other hot spots in the state.

Georgia’s health department is starting a new contact tracing program to stop the spread of COVID-19.

“To streamline contact tracing we are rolling out a new online tool called the “Health Georgia Collaborative” which allow Georgians to identify contacts and monitor symptoms”

Georgia Governor Brian Kemp

“Virtually in a nursing home, hybrid situation has been contacted traced. This isn’t new. What is new is the tracking with the app.”

Dr. Kathleen Toomey

Contract tracing can identify, map and isolate those who may be exposed to COVID-19.

“Identifying the hotspots, and intervening very quickly on top of that to ensure that there is no further spread so that a hot spot does not become a progressive trend in a community.”

Dr. Kathleen Toomey

Health care workers will ask positive patients who they came in contact with the last two days before becoming sick.

If you are contacted by DPH staff, I want to strongly encourage you to participate to participate in the contact tracing program. We need your help to defeat this virus.

Dr. Kathleen Toomey

The state’s health department plans to expand from 250 to 1000 staffers for contact tracing in by June 23rd.

Health care workers will reach out to folks who were near a sick patient, monitor and isolate them for 14 days, and get them medical care if their conditions worsen.

Information collected through contact tracing will be kept confidential according to hipaa standards and it is voluntary.

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