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​Mecklenburg County Public Health Launches New Enhancements to COVID-19 Case Investigation and Contact Tracing Program

5/29/2020

With local testing increasing exponentially, Mecklenburg County Public Health (MCPH) is using new software and a new state website to expand and enhance its' Contact Tracing Program to assist with the follow-up of positive COVID-19 cases in Mecklenburg County.

MCPH is using HealthSpace and the state of North Carolina's new COVID-19 Community Team Outreach Tool (CCTO) to assist with monitoring and follow-up of COVID-19 cases and known close contacts. Both have just been made available to Mecklenburg County.

The new software tools allow MCPH to automate workflows, streamline case and known contact communication, and align and integrate with statewide COVID-19 response systems.

MCPH has also trained and added more than 100 additional staff to conduct COVID-19 contact tracing activities, bringing the total number of staff trained to assist with case investigation and contact tracing efforts to approximately 170.

"We are very pleased to expand our tracing efforts to reduce the risk of spread of COVID-19 in our community," says Public Health Director Gibbie Harris. "The risk of developing COVID-19 depends on exposure, and contact tracing helps identify exposed individuals who are at increased risk of infection."

The enhanced tracing process will proceed as follows, with the new procedures highlighted below:

  • As they have been doing all along, MCPH staff conduct investigations with all Mecklenburg County residents with laboratory-confirmed COVID-19. During case interviews, staff follow-up on the patient's health status, review self-isolation requirements, and connect patients to other community resources. The HealthSpace software tool will assist with managing case investigation workflows and follow-up.
  • MCPH staff work with the patient to identify individuals they were in close contact with during the period they were likely infectious. Using the information provided by the patient, the tracers then attempt to notify known close contacts. MCPH also works directly with employers, daycares, nursing homes, and other facilities to identify and notify individuals who may have been exposed in their facilities.
  • Known close contacts will receive an initial phone call from a contact tracer to review the date of exposure and self-quarantine requirements.  
  • MCPH will also use the state's CCTO software tool system to help notify and monitor known close contacts.
  • With the new CCTO system, known close contacts may also receive e-mails from         NC-ARIAS-NoReply@dhhs.nc.gov or text messages from 453-94 for daily follow-ups during the self-quarantine period.

 

MCPH staff have been working nonstop to perform case investigations and identify potential exposures since the pandemic began.

MCPH continues to encourage everyone to practice the 3 W's—Wait at least six feet apart (through social distancing), Wear a face covering in public settings, and Wash your hands.

For more information, visit https://www.MeckNC.gov/COVID-19/Pages/Contact-Tracing.aspx.  


close alertCounty services are operating at a limited capacity. Questions about COVID-19? Call Public Health Hotline: 980-314-9400