Department of Health offers bi-weekly update on COVID-19 investigations, contact tracing and surveillance efforts

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Harrisburg, Pennsylvania – The Department of Health (DOH) today shared a bi-weekly update on the COVID-19 investigation and contact tracing data in Pennsylvania, encouraging Pennsylvanians to download the COVID Alert PA app , as over 884,000 have already done, to help with contact tracing efforts.

“Case investigation and contact tracing remains a critical effort in our response to COVID-19,” Acting Secretary of Health Alison Beam said. “While the COVID-19 vaccine is our last tool in the toolbox to protect us from the virus, we must remember to answer the call of public health professionals as well as to wear a mask, to practice distancing social and continue to wash our hands frequently. . “

Here’s how the contact tracing process works:

A person with a positive COVID-19 result is contacted by a case investigator – a public health professional – to gather information and offer advice. Between April 24 and May 8, public health professionals completed 12,582 case investigations. This equates to 32% of the positive cases reported during those two weeks.

Contact tracers take reports from investigators on cases and contact the contacts identified in the reports. Contact tracers reached out to individuals to conduct digital case investigations through the Connect & Protect form. During this reference period, there were 15,225 calls reaching 8,455 people, with success. Of the 7,129 forms sent, 2,845 were returned.

Since the implementation of the Connect & Protect form from December 21, 2020 to May 8, the department has received 30,956 completed forms.

With the close contacts collected during the case investigation, approximately 1,330 contact tracers worked to conduct the contact tracing. Between April 25 and May 8, there were:

· 13,317 contacts were processed for areas under the jurisdiction of PA DOH;

· 8,414 people were effectively contacted to communicate their quarantine status and to offer continuous monitoring of symptoms;

· 4,197 people were not reached; and

· 805 were still being contacted.

The Department of Health will continue these contact tracing updates on a monthly basis in the future. The next update will be made on Tuesday June 15, 2021.

How can you help:

· Answer the call, then complete the Connect & Protect form. 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 healthcare professional who will provide you with valuable information and help you prevent someone else from also contracting COVID-19.

· Download the COVID-19 app. Since the Department of Health launched COVID Alert PA on September 22, the ministry has made updates to allow residents ages 13 to 17 with parental consent to download the app, which is now available in four news languages. This app is interoperable with 22 other states that also use the same notification exposure app technology.

· You can find more information about the state’s contact tracing efforts on the Department of Health’s website here.

The Department of Health strives to ensure that the vaccine is provided in an ethical, fair and effective manner to all Pennsylvanians:

· All Pennsylvanians aged 12 and older are eligible to schedule a COVID-19 vaccine. Use Vaccine Finder to find a COVID-19 vaccine supplier near you.

· A Commonwealth COVID-19 vaccination guide explains the current process to get one. Pennsylvanians with questions about the immunization process can call the Department of Health hotline at 1-877-724-3258.

· All the locations that received the vaccine and how much they received can be found on the COVID-19 vaccine distribution webpage.

· Vaccine Dashboard data can also be viewed on the website for more information on doses administered and to present demographic information.

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Frequently asked questions can be found here.

CONTACT WITH THE MEDIA: Mark O’Neill – [email protected]

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