Harrisburg, PA - The Department of Health (DOH) today shared a monthly update on Pennsylvania’s COVID-19 case investigation and contact tracing data, encouraging everyone to download the COVID Alert PA app, as more than 922,000 have already done, to aid in contact tracing efforts.
“Even though more Pennsylvanians are getting vaccinated every day, case investigations and contact tracing remain critical in our COVID-19 response,” Acting Secretary of Health Alison Beam said. “While the COVID-19 vaccine is the latest tool available to protect people from the virus, we must remember to answer the case investigation and contact tracing calls from public health professionals."
Here’s how the contact tracing process works:
A person with a positive COVID-19 test result is contacted by a case investigator – a public health professional – to gather information and offer guidance. Between June 10 through July 9, public health professionals completed 6,336 case investigations. This equates to 34 percent of positive cases reported.
Contact tracers take the case investigator reports and reach out to contacts identified in them. Contact tracers reached out to individuals to perform digital case investigations through the Connect & Protect Form. During this reporting period, 2,296 calls were made and 578 individuals were reached successfully. Of the 419 that were sent forms, 114 were returned.
“Calling residents who have been diagnosed with COVID-19 to perform case investigations continues to be a critical part of our response,” Acting Secretary Beam said. “It’s important to answer and participate in this call to help stop the spread of this virus.”
Between June 10 and July 9 there have been:
· 701 contacts processed for areas where PA DOH has jurisdiction;
· 254 people effectively reached to communicate their quarantine status and offer ongoing symptom monitoring;
· 342 people not reached; and
· 105 still in the process of being contacted.
How you can help:
· Answer the call. A call from a case investigator will come from a caller named, “PA Dept of Health,” so don’t be afraid to answer the call. The caller is a health professional who will provide you with valuable information and help you keep someone else from also contracting COVID-19.
· Download the COVID-19 app. Since the Department of Health launched COVID Alert PA on Sept. 22, 2020, the department has made updates to allow 13- through 17-year-old residents with parental consent to download the app, which is now available in four languages. This app is interoperable with 22 other states that also use the same notification exposure app technology.
· You can find more information on the state’s contact tracing efforts at the Department of Health’s website here.
The Department of Health is working to ensure the vaccine is provided in a way that is ethical, equitable and efficient to all Pennsylvanians:
· All Pennsylvanians age 12 and older are eligible to schedule a COVID-19 vaccine. Use Vaccine Finder to find a COVID-19 vaccine provider near you.
· A commonwealth COVID-19 vaccination guide explains the current process for getting one. Pennsylvanians with questions about the vaccination process can call the Department of Health hotline at 1-877-724-3258.
· Vaccine dashboard data can also be found on the website to find more information on the doses administered and showcase demographic information.
· The Unite Against COVID Weekly Update is a round-up of news you can use and answers to your most pressing vaccine questions – delivered directly to your inbox every week.
· Frequently asked questions can be found here.
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