‘Crisis mode’: LCHD ‘no longer has capacity’ to follow-up with all positive COVID-19 cases, close contacts
For the Tomahawk Leader
LINCOLN COUNTY – The Lincoln County Health Department (LCHD) said on Thursday, Jan. 6 that it had entered “crisis mode for COVID-19 disease follow-up.”
“Lincoln County is seeing a significant surge in COVID-19 cases,” LCHD said in a release. “The Lincoln County Health Department no longer has the capacity to follow-up with everyone who is positive with COVID-19 and their close contacts.”
LCHD said it had moved to a “crisis model” for notifying positive cases and contact tracing on Dec. 31, 2021.
“While LCHD will attempt to follow-up with individuals who test positive to review isolation recommendations, the response may be delayed more than 24 hours,” LCHD stated. “LCHD will not be contacting close contacts at this time. LCHD does not investigate those who are positive through at-home test kits. “
LCHD recommended those who were recently diagnosed with COVID-19 follow the latest Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidance:
- Stay home and avoid others until you have been fever-free (without use of fever-reducing medicine) for at least 24 hours, your symptoms are resolving, and it has been at least five days since the first day you had symptoms. You must continue to wear a well-fitted mask around others for five additional days. If you are unable to mask, you will need to isolate for the full 10 days.
- If you have not had any symptoms of COVID-19, stay home and avoid others until five days have passed since the day of your positive COVID-19 test. You must continue to wear a well-fitted mask around others for five additional days. If you are unable to mask, you will need to isolate for the full 10 days.
- Take your temperature daily and watch for fever and worsening cough or difficulty breathing. Contact your healthcare provider if you have concerns about your symptoms.
- Stay in a specific room, as much as possible, and away from other people in your home. If possible, use a separate bathroom. Have no one visit.
- Inform your healthcare provider that you have COVID-19 as soon as possible. They will review your medical history and discuss possible treatment options with you. Do not contact the emergency room for treatment options.
- Notify people that you had close contact with while sick and share quarantine recommendations with them. For more information, see the “What to Do If You Are a Close Contact” section on LCHD’s website: co.lincoln.wi.us/health/page/what-do-if-you-are-close-contact.
“If you were diagnosed with COVID-19 less than 90 days ago and you tested positive again and are having symptoms, you should see your healthcare provider,” LCHD said. “You might be sick with something other than COVID-19. Isolate until you are well for at least 24 hours and listen to your provider’s guidance before returning to work or school. If it has been less than 90 days after testing positive for COVID-19 and you test positive again, but are not having symptoms, you do not need to isolate.”
Information for close contacts
LCHD recommended that those who have been exposed to COVID-19 follow the quarantine guidelines provided in the table below.
“This information does not apply to healthcare workers and may not apply to those attending or working in congregate settings,” LCHD said. “Please consult with your employer or school regarding their quarantine policy.”
LCHD provided information for household contacts.
“If you are unable to completely separate, you will have a longer quarantine period, as your five-day quarantine begins on the last day of isolation for the positive case in your home,” LCHD stated.
LCHD added that it is important to note that some worksites, organizations, or schools might have stricter policies than the Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS) guidelines.
“Thank you for your patience at this time,” LCHD stated.
For more information, visit www.lincolncountyhealthdepartment.com.