You tested positive for COVID — what contact tracers want to know

By Debra Moore

[email protected]

Local residents who test positive for COVID-19 will hear from a contact tracing investigator from the Plumas County Public Health Agency.

Tina Venable, director of nursing for the agency, said that Public Health has five case investigators and the ability to draw more from Environmental Health and other individuals who have been trained in the process.

“The goals are to determine where a person may have contracted the virus as well as to discover who they may have exposed,” she said.

Venable shares the questions that are asked (below), but cautions that depending on the responses received, other questions could be asked as well.

Through the investigation, Public Health determines who else should be contacted, tested and asked to self isolate. “We try to go back at least seven days from the positive test, or even further to try and figure out where the exposure was,” she said.

“We call and say ‘You were identified as a contact,’ and then take it from there,” Venable said, adding that most people want to be tested and Public Health arranges the testing.

Venable said that thus far, it appears that Plumas County cases stem from individuals leaving the county and being exposed, or conversely, from individuals visiting the county and exposing people locally. “We have had no sustained community spread,” she said.

Following are the questions that individuals should be prepared to answer during a contact tracing investigation:

[email protected]_20201106_122725