East Aurora Advertiser

Contact Tracing at County Level Struggles Following Surge of CasesFree Access

The substantial volume of COVID-19 case reports in recent days has exceeded the capacity of Erie County Department of Health and New York State’s contract tracing units to individually contact every Erie County resident with a positive COVID-19 test result.

In a news release, the health department asked people with a positive COVID-19 test result, either from a lab, pharmacy, medical office or at-home test, to self-isolate and notify their household and close contacts. Anyone who has been exposed to someone who has tested positive is asked to self-quarantine, especially if not fully vaccinated, monitor for COVID-19 symptoms and seek a COVID-19 test five to seven days after exposure; sooner, if symptoms develop.

The most common COVID-19 symptoms include runny nose/congestion, sore throat, cough, fever or loss of taste or smell. However, COVID-19 can cause any viral /flu-like symptoms. 

The county’s Office of Epidemiology will continue to notify Erie County residents of test results administered at ECDOH test sites. The county health department is expanding COVID-19 test capacity this week. Rapid ID Now tests will be available to any symptomatic Erie County resident, and the lab-based PCR tests will be offered to Erie County residents, regardless of symptoms. 

Appointments are required and can be scheduled through the ECDOH COVID-19 Information Line at (716) 858-2929.

ECDOH is following New York State Department of Health isolation and quarantine guidance. Certain essential worker categories may return to work after day 5 of isolation if certain criteria are met and maintained. See www.erie.gov/iq.

Employers or schools that require a county-issued isolation or quarantine order can print and complete an attestation form, located at www.erie.gov/iq. 

Erie County residents can report a positive COVID-19 at-home test result at www.erie.gov/hometestreport. Resources from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) explain how to isolate and quarantine. www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/your-health/quarantine-isolation.html

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