Trace Yourself: Lane County Changes COVID-19 Contact Tracing Procedure

Dec 1, 2020

Due to the surge in COVID-19 cases, Lane County Public Health has changed their investigative guidelines. Now, people who test positive for the virus are asked to reach out to their own contacts.

Investigators will only follow up on those case contacts who are in vulnerable populations. These include the elderly, those living in long-term care and people working in job settings with high risk of viral transmission. The county took up these new contact tracing recommendations from the Oregon Health Authority.

Spokesperson Jason Davis said everyone should know these adopted procedures --so that residents who are known carriers aren't surprised if they don't receive a call from Public Health investigators (as per the new guidelines.)

“And they include contacting your own contacts. That really helps our contact tracers be able to zero in on the individuals who are most at risk of not only having worse symptoms themselves but also potentially spreading COVID to more people.”

Now investigators will only trace contacts in the most vulnerable populations, like long term care facilities. Due to the statewide case surge, new guidelines were created by Oregon Health Authority and implemented by Lane County Public Health to mitigate serious symptoms and death from COVID-19 and to limit spread.
Credit Lane County Public Health

Lane County is currently in the “extreme risk” category for COVID-19 transmission.  Davis said of the 76 current outbreaks, 35% of them are in long term care facilities.