BY: DAVID SHEPHERD, NEWS DIRECTOR
JASPER -- Contact tracing began over the weekend in Dubois County.
The Maximus Contact Tracing Call Center will contact county residents that test positive. They’ll also notify close contacts of a COVID-19 patient. The call center will be performing all investigations in each of the state’s 92 counties.
“Contact tracing involves asking a series of questions of people that test positive, for instance, when did the symptoms start or who they might have been in contact with. Did they go to work or school to a grocery store? Did they eat out? Did they have a family gathering? We get a list of those that they might have had close contact with and then we contact those people to see if they have symptoms,” says state Health Commissioner Dr. Kris Box.
Tom Duszynski, the school’s epidemiology education director, says that contact tracing is a tried and true method of controlling the spread of diseases.
“The sooner we can get out there, the sooner we can get our arms around this disease, the faster we can stop it. It has worked for decades. This is a tool public health has used for decades to stop many infectious diseases. The eradication of smallpox would not have been possible without contact tracing,” Duszynski said.
Officials say, with so many phone scams going around, they want to reassure you that, if you receive an automated message from the State Health Department, it is legitimate.
Patients may receive a text, voicemail or email from Maximus prompting them to contact the health department regarding an “urgent public health matter.”
The call center line is 833- 670 – 0067.