HARRISBURG, PA — The Department of Health (DOH) has released a monthly update on Pennsylvania’s COVID-19 case investigation and contact tracing data, encouraging Pennsylvanians to download the COVID Alert PA app, as more than 913,000 have already done, to aid in contact tracing efforts.
“Even as Pennsylvanians get vaccinated, case investigations and contact tracing remain a critical effort in our COVID-19 response,” Acting Secretary of Health Alison Beam said. “While the COVID-19 vaccine is our latest tool in the tool box to be protected from the virus, we must remember to answer the call from public health professionals as well as wear a mask, practice social distancing 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 guidance. Between May 9 through June 9, public health professionals completed 10,182 case investigations. This equates to 31 percent of positive cases reported over those two weeks.
Contact tracers take the case investigator reports and reach out to contacts identified in the reports. Contact tracers reached out to individuals to perform digital case investigations through the Connect & Protect Form. During this reporting period, there were 13,358 calls to reach 6,998 individuals, successfully. Of the 5,726 that were sent forms or 2,358 were returned.
Since the implementation of the Connect & Protect form on Dec. 21, 2020 through June 9, the department has received 33,314 completed forms.
With the close contacts collected during the case investigation, approximately 1,200 contact tracers worked to perform contact tracing. Between May 9 and June 9 there have been:
- 12,314 contacts have been processed for areas where PA DOH has jurisdiction;
- 7,824 people have been effectively reached to communicate their quarantine status and offer ongoing symptom monitoring;
- 4,414 people were not reached; and
- 76 were still in the process of being contacted.
The Department of Health states it will continue these contact tracing updates on a monthly basis moving forward.
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