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St. Joseph Health Department practicing contact tracing to reduce community spread

Any person testing positive for coronavirus is interviewed by the St. Joseph Health Department to find out who they've possibly infected.

Posted: Apr 28, 2020 11:32 AM
Updated: Apr 28, 2020 11:36 AM

(ST. JOSEPH, Mo.) Any person testing positive for coronavirus is interviewed by the St. Joseph Health Department to find out who they've possibly infected.

It's called contact tracing and is done in an effort to stop the community spread of COVID-19.

Any person that has been less than six feet away from the infected person for 10-15 minutes or longer two days before the person tested positive began showing symptoms is at risk. 

The St. Joseph Health Department notifies every citizen the infected person has had close personal contact with and educates them of their possible outcome and asks them to self quarantine to further stop spreading the disease. 

Health professionals said this is the whole point of social distancing. 

“If you were positive, a lot of times people are like, ‘Oh my gosh! Who might I have given it to? I don’t want to have given it to anyone.’ Had you maintained that social distance, that’s the whole reason that you have now stopped the spread of that disease process and you can say, ‘Well, here’s my family numbers.’ That’s always going to be an issue and ,'Here’s my neighbor that I walk with'. As opposed to, ‘I was in this very large crowd for a really long period of time and I don’t know who I might have given it to,’”said Connie Werner, clinic supervisor for the St. Joseph Health Department. 

Contact tracing does not apply to those people who simply passed by a person who ends up positive with COVID-19.

The social distancing would have needed to be broken for more than 10-15 minutes. 

St. Joseph Health Department said they've had to make over 100 contact tracing calls and expect more phone calls will be made notifying people of their possible exposure as positive coronavirus cases increase. 

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Temperatures have dropped down below freezing for many this morning with mostly clear skies creating a few areas of frost. Today temperatures will struggle to warm up again into the upper 40s and lower 50s with a mix of sun and clouds. Tonight temperatures will drop into the upper 20s and lower 30s again providing another frosty morning on Thursday. Southerly winds will return on Thursday helping to slowly warm temperatures back up into the upper 50s. Most of the day Thursday will be dry but rain chances will start to increase after about 6 PM. Rain chances will continue for the first half of the day Friday before moving out of our area. The weekend looks comfortable and spring like with temperatures in the 60s and 70s under mostly sunny skies. The warm up continues into next week with highs in the 70s and 80s on Monday.
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