CK Public Health is changing its COVID-19 case and contact management.
Chatham-Kent Public Health is getting some help from the province to allow it to concentrate on vaccination efforts and focus on COVID-19 cases and contacts in the highest-risk settings.
A provincial team will now take over investigating all new cases in Chatham-Kent and will issue instructions for both cases and contacts. According to the local public health unit, the changes were directed by the province,
This new model protects the most vulnerable members of our community in the highest-risk settings, including schools and child cares, retirement homes, long-term care homes, other congregate living settings, and acute healthcare settings.
A central, provincial workforce will now investigate all new cases of COVID-19 and provide appropriate instructions for both cases and contacts. The provincial workforce will reach out initially by text message with a request for a reply, followed by a phone call.
CK Public Health will focus on cases and contacts related to the highest-risk settings.
“Local public health officials continue asking the public to get their booster shots as soon as possible to slow down COVID-19 transmission,” said Caress Lee Carpenter, Public Relations Officer for CK Public Health.
They also ask people to self-isolate at home with household members for 10 days, regardless of their vaccination status, if COVID-19 symptoms are developed.
“If you test positive for COVID-19, follow the isolation and contact notification instructions provided to you by the [provincial] investigator following up on your case,” wrote local public health officials in a media release. “This change helps CK Public Health to focus on vaccination to reduce the severity of symptoms and help reduce the strain on our local healthcare system.”
Chatham-Kent Public Health added that all community residents aged 18 and older can book an appointment for the third COVID-19 shot at a mass vaccination clinic or select pharmacies as long as at least 84 days have passed since their second dose.
Vaccine appointments can be booked at www.GetYourShotCK.ca or by calling 519-351-1010.
Chatham-Kent Public Health also continues to vaccinate those aged 5-11 and give first and second doses for those aged 12 and older.
Bird Bouchard, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Ridgetown Independent News