Waukesha County scaling down COVID-19 tracing program

Posted at 10:58 AM, Feb 03, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-03 11:58:05-05

WAUKESHA COUNTY — Waukesha County is rolling back its COVID-19 tracing program, it said it in a press release. It cited new recommendations from the Wisconsin Department of Health Services that suggest tracing programs aren't the most effective method to reducing the spread of the virus.

“The highly contagious, yet more mild, characteristics of the Omicron variant have decreased the effectiveness of disease investigation and contact tracing. Meanwhile, the community has many more tools available, including vaccination, better treatment options, widespread access to testing, and familiarity with strategies to stop the spread of this virus. Therefore, the best use of our limited resources is to shift from investigating all COVID-19 cases to focus on our most vulnerable residents" Benjamen Jones, the Waukesha County Health Officer, said.

Those who are 18 to 69 years old who test positive will no longer receive communication from the health department. However, 70-year-olds, who are not affiliated with a long-term care facility, will be contacted by the health department with a letter. Parents with children 17 and younger will get a text from the health department. That number will be (262) 600-2255.

The county will still work with large businesses, schools, and long-term care facilities, but it will not conduct universal tracing anymore.

The goal is to shift resources to other areas like staffing and vaccine focus.

The health department still recommends that quarantining after a positive test is necessary. That person should also notify others they have come into contact with.

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