Cabarrus Health Alliance adopts changes to COVID case investigation prioritization

Cabarrus Health Alliance adopts changes to COVID case investigation prioritization
The large number of cases, and the spread of COVID-19 across the county means the CHA will not have to prioritize which cases are investigated. (Source: WBTV File)

CABARRUS COUNTY, N.C. (WBTV) - Cabarrus Health Alliance (CHA) is adopting the case investigation prioritization guidance from North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS), due to widespread transmission in our community and the surge in local cases.

According to NCDHHS, “during a period of widespread community transmission, existing public health case investigation capacity can be exceeded. When this occurs, efforts should be made to prioritize individuals and populations at highest risk for transmission of COVID-19.”

“We recognize the importance of case investigation and contact tracing, but with such community spread the continued surge in cases, we need to prioritize areas with the most potential to create cluster or outbreak situations” said Tamara Staehler, COVID Response Manager. “This change means our team will prioritize populations that are at most risk for serious complications from COVID-19.”

Case investigation priority population settings are as follows:

  • Cases associated with known clusters/outbreaks
  • Those living in a congregate or healthcare setting
  • Those exposed in the following settings:
  • Healthcare
  • Congregate
  • Educational Institutions/schools
  • Critical Infrastructure
  • Community settings with large number of people

CHA Case Investigators will reach out via phone to Cabarrus County residents who tested positive to COVID-19 and that meet at least one of the priority population settings listed above.

CHA Case Investigators will not reach out to Cabarrus County residents who tested positive for COVID-19 and do not meet the priority population settings listed above. Individuals who do not fall within a priority population category should:

  • Isolate at home
  • Separate yourself from other members of the household
  • If you have to be around others in the household, make sure to:
  • Practice the 3 W’s
  • Avoid sharing personal household items
  • Sanitize surface areas
  • Monitor your symptoms
  • Seek medical assistance if needed

When can an individual come out of isolation? The following three things are required for individuals to be released from:

  • 10 days from onset of symptoms or, if asymptomatic, 10 days from test date and
  • No fever for 24 hours without taking fever-reducing medication and
  • Improvement of symptoms

As cases decrease, Health Alliance officials will broaden the prioritization categories to complete case investigations on more individuals.

The CHA Health Information line is available for those who have questions or need guidance, (704) 920-1213.

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