COVID-19 Contact Tracing Center Opens in Morgan County, With Plans to Expand Testing Availability

By Jeremy Coumbes on August 28, 2020 at 3:02pm

Contact tracing of COVID-19 cases is ramping up in Morgan County.

Morgan County Heath Department Administrator Dale Bainter says the new COVID Contact Center is up and running in a stand alone location, allowing the health department the ability for rapid contact tracing as the positive case count continues to rise in the area.

Bainter says the center has had a soft opening this week, and will fully take over contact tracing seven days a week in the county starting this weekend. The new COVID Contact Center is located in the former Howe Electric and Butler Supply building at 340 West College Avenue.

Bainter says as contact tracing gets up to speed at the center, the next focus of the health department is to provide greater COVID testing at the same location.

Bainter says contact tracing is the most important step in containing and controlling the spread of the virus.

The testing is equally important in identifying those who are ill, but once we have identified someone who is ill, usually there are double digit numbers that have been in contact with that individual that could potentially spread the virus.

So we have a staff of contact tracers they are going to reach out to anyone who has been in direct contact with a known positive or presumed positive, and then depending on their amount of contact we are going to put quarantine orders and restrictions on those individuals and hopefully that stops the spread and we can quarantine the sick and those who have been exposed. Then the rest of the community can gt on with their normal life in some level.”

Bainter says although there has been a slight drop recently in the number of positive cases, Morgan County continues to see new cases confirmed on a daily basis.

He says along with wearing facial coverings and social distancing in public, minimizing large group gatherings are the key to stopping the spread of the virus and keeping Morgan County’s positivity rate down.

Bainter says his department is anticipating being able to offer COVID testing at the new Contact Center within the next few weeks if all goes according to plan.