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Tuscarawas County Health Department adjusts COVID response strategy

| January 28, 2022

DOVER (WJER) (Jan. 28, 2022) – The Tuscarawas County Health Department is no longer calling residents who test positive for COVID and individuals that may have been exposed to the virus.

Health Commissioner Katie Seward says the changes come at the recommendation of the Ohio Department of Health and other prominent health organizations, which now considers those measures ineffective in containing the spread of the virus.

“Initially, it was a really great tool as we were trying to slow the spread to give time to individuals to create a vaccine which could then add another layer of prevention. Now, however, the spread is so widespread that it’s safe to assume that anyone could potentially be exposed at any time.” 

In lieu of a phone call, positive cases will now receive information about isolation procedures in the mail and a document they can provide to their workplace or school. Seward says you can also find flow charts explaining the isolation and quarantine procedures on the health department’s Facebook page and website.

“So we’re just really kind of changing the way we’re communicating with people. As always we’re here to answer questions for anyone who wants to call in. We just won’t be reaching out automatically via phone to individuals that we get positive tests for.”

Seward says the move will allow the agency to refocus its limited resources on outbreaks in high-risk settings such as nursing homes, shelters, and correctional facilities, although it’s critical for residents to continue masking up and social distancing in indoor public spaces regardless of their vaccination status and staying home if they’re feeling under the weather. 

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