Interim Guidance on Developing a COVID-19 Case Investigation & Contact Tracing Plan Released

microscope view of a viewAs the COVID-19 pandemic continues to grip the nation, the Department of Heath and Human Services has released Health Departments: Interim Guidance on Developing a COVID-19 Case Investigation & Contact Tracing Plan (the Plan). Its intended purpose is to assist state and local governments in developing case investigation and contact tracing plans for when patients test positive for COVID-19.

Case investigation and contact tracing is the process of identifying other people that the infected patient may have exposed to the disease, and providing the necessary support to prevent or treat further infection. This process is essential when dealing with infectious diseases. It allows medical support to be provided to those who may not know they need it, and more importantly it helps limit the spread of the disease by identifying and separating those who may be contagious. This is especially true with COVID-19 as individuals who are infected can still spread the disease before showing first symptoms.

The Plan is very exhaustive, and some areas that health departments may find particularly useful are: definitions of roles and responsibilities, information on the proper training for health workers, and a step-by-step process for conducting a COVID-19 case investigation.

For more information on topics related to this piece, check out the COVID-19 Special Collection, or visit the HSDL Featured Topics on Pandemics and Epidemics.

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