Juneau County moves to crisis model for Covid-19 contact tracing

Contributed by the Juneau County Health Department

 As daily Covid-19 case counts continue to rise in Juneau County, the Juneau County Health Department no longer has the capacity to follow up with everyone who is positive with Covid-19 and their close contacts.

The department is moving to a crisis model for notifying positive cases and contact tracing efforts starting today, Friday, Nov. 12. This change comes after a surge of over 100 positive cases in 48 hours.

“This is something we have been trying to avoid for several weeks. We knew the dam would break eventually,” explained Amanda Dederich, Juneau County Health Officer. “We will have to rely even more on the community to bring us out of this crisis. We know what works to stop the spread of illness in our community; we just need people to take action now.”

With the new crisis model, people who receive a positive COVID-19 test result may not receive a call directly from the Juneau County Health Department. The public health nursing team will prioritize cases known to be connected with high-risk settings such as long-term care facilities, group homes, schools, and large employers.

The Juneau County Health Department asks that people who test positive for Covid-19 stay isolated from others and notify their close contacts immediately. The Juneau County Emergency Information Page has been updated to provide guidelines on what to do if you test positive, the definition of a close contact, and what you should do if you are sick or were possibly exposed. Complying with these guidelines is even more important as the holidays rapidly approach and cases in Juneau County continue to surge.

It is important to take active measures to avoid the spread of illness in the community. People should follow simple steps to slow the spread in our community, including the following:

• Get vaccinated! Vaccines are now approved for anyone 5 years of age or older.

• Wear a cloth face covering when in public regardless of vaccination status.

• Keep 6 feet of distance between you and non-household members.

• Stay home when you are sick.

• Frequent and thorough handwashing with soap and water.

If you have questions about the Covid-19 guidelines, please call the Juneau County Health Department at (608) 847-9279. Go to www.co.juneau.wi.gov/emergency-information.html for more information regarding Covid-19 in Juneau County. The daily snapshot is updated Monday through Friday.

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