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West Central District Health Department inundated with an “unmanageable” workload

Asking for help from the community
With rising cases, health districts are busy with contract tracing.
With rising cases, health districts are busy with contract tracing.(HARVARD GLOBAL HEALTH INSTITUTE/BROWN SCHOOL OF PUBLIC HEALTH, via Forbes)
Published: Nov. 16, 2020 at 3:50 PM CST
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NORTH PLATTE, Neb. (KNOP) - Aside from following guidelines such as wearing masks, social distancing and good hygiene, the West Central District Health Department (WCDHD) officials are also asking the people of the district to “limit calls, texts, and emails to our office and website if possible. We need to keep lines open for those who have tested positive or have immediate needs. When calling, you will be asked to explain the urgency of your call and your call will be answered accordingly.”

Each positive case must be traced to identify close contacts in order to inform the public of who needs to quarantine. There are currently 1,313 positive cases of COVID-19 in the district. There have been a total of 2,097 cases in the district since the pandemic began, with 753 recoveries and 17 deaths.

On the WCDHD’s Facebook page the following information is provided:

• Medical emergency calls should be made to your medical provider, 911, or by visiting your local Emergency room if necessary.

“Due to the increased volume of positive COVID-19 cases and calls into our office, WCDHD staff are inundated and currently do not have the capacity to address all requests and calls that are flooding into our office. Our department is prioritizing our energies on investigating the surge of positive cases within our jurisdiction. Staff have an unmanageable workload at this time and are asking community members to do their part.”

Testing Information

• If you have been exposed to a lab confirmed case, testing is important but shouldn’t be immediately following the exposure. Schedule testing within 5 to 7 days of exposure. If exposed to an individual who is a lab confirmed COVID-19, you MUST quarantine for 14 days following last date of exposure.

• You CANNOT test out of quarantine. If you were exposed to a lab confirmed case and test negative, you MUST complete your 14 days of quarantine.

• Register for testing: https://www.testnebraska.com/en

• IF YOU ARE UNABLE TO CONNECT WITH TESTING IN A TIMELY MANNER (5 to 7 days from exposure or are currently experiencing signs and symptoms of COVID-19), Please complete this form: https://nalhd.sjc1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_6nEStlmWeg6Cubz

Documentation of, or Release from, Quarantine and Isolation

• Notice of 3 business days is REQUIRED if you are needing a document outlining your quarantine/isolation dates, or a return to work or school release. All requests for COVID-19 Related Letters MUST be submitted through the following link: https://nalhd.sjc1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_eVxS16v3yCaXjQ9

Question About the Current Directed Health Measure

• The current DHM can be found at: http://dhhs.ne.gov/Documents/WCHD-DHM-November9.pdf

• Event plans can be submitted at the following link: https://nalhd.sjc1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_1C6qlks0VXX6n53

If the above information does not answer your questions, you may also contact us through our online system by clicking on the following link: https://wcdhd.org/questions.html *Your questions are important to us and will be returned as soon as possible. Questions that can be answered through the above links will not be addressed separately through the contact us link.

Please be as specific as possible including your name, an email address, phone number, and a detailed message. Your message will be disseminated to the appropriate person and they will get back to you as soon as possible.

REMEMBER

• If you are positive for COVID-19 or have signs and symptoms of COVID-19 ISOLATE IMMEDIATELY.

• If you are a direct contact to a positive COVID-19 individual, QUARANTINE IMMEDIATELY for 14 days from last date of exposure and schedule testing 5-7 days after last date of exposure.

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