DPH hiring additional staff for contact tracing

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(ALBANY, GA) – As COVID-19 numbers continue to hold steady in Southwest Georgia, the Department of Public Health is increasing the size of the workforce to keep a record of symptoms and additional cases cause by contact tracing.

Department of Public Health Director of Public Services, Dr Charles Ruis tells us, “They have been coming on board in waves really. The first hires came on board about two or three weeks ago, we got some may 26th, and there’s a possibility that we get some more hires next week.”

Dr Ruis explains that contact tracing of Coronavirus occurs after a potential patient has been exhibiting symptoms for up to 14 days.

When it comes to COVID-19 cases, the patients are then put in contact with the Department of Public Health for an assessment, known as a “contact investigation.”

“We learn everything about individuals who have the infection, and part 2 of that interview is that we find out all of the people who might have been exposed to that individual,” says Dr. Ruis.

The additional staff for the Southwest District of the department are helping to arrange these contact trace cases with the goal of continuing to flatten the curve by identifying new cases of COVID-19.

Dr Ruise says, “If we can quickly determine who else might have been exposed and if we can educate them and participate in quarantine, then the virus has much less chance of spreading around the community.”

Doctor Ruis also suggests that anyone who fears they may have developed symptoms should contact the Department of Public Health directly.