On behalf of Interim Health Director Garron Bradish and Director of Nursing Tammy Quinn, Haywood County Health and Human Services would like to update citizens and businesses on some changes in our COVID-19 contact tracing processes, brought about by the current surge in cases.
- We will still be conducting case investigations and monitoring of POSITIVE cases. However, we do not currently have the capacity to track and monitor the close contacts of positives. Therefore:
- When we make our initial contact with positive cases, we will explain the definition of a close contact, and ask the positive person to get in touch with their close contacts so that those contacts know to quarantine and get tested six days after exposure.
- We will still be providing isolation letters and isolation release letters when requested.
- Due to overwhelming volume, we will NOT be able to provide quarantine and quarantine release letters after people complete their quarantine period. We suggest businesses rely on the honor system or doctor’s notes to verify employees' return to work status.
- EXCEPTION: We will be providing confidential notification to school nurses of any positives related to the school system (a positive child, a child of a positive, a positive school employee). The school nurses will contact the parent of students or the staff member and get any school-related contacts and do isolation education. They will then call the school-related contacts and notify them of the need to quarantine and do quarantine education. School nurses will follow the contacts and release them from quarantine.
- We are temporarily suspending testing for close contacts of positives, except for those already scheduled. Testing is still available through primary care providers and urgent care centers throughout the county.
- We have streamlined and simplified our case investigation questions and processes, and have pulled additional Public Health staff onto the COVID-19 team to assist with case investigations while we manage the current case surge.
Thank you, everyone, for your understanding.