Waukesha County Public Health is increasing proactive measures to boost contact tracing as Wisconsin prepares to meet the Badger Bounce Back order’s criteria to reopen the state.
“Waukesha County has already launched a robust and scalable approach to mitigating the COVID-19 pandemic through contact tracing,” said Waukesha County Executive Paul Farrow “As local testing capacity grows, more local contact tracing will be needed. Waukesha County is making sure it will be able to meet that higher demand.”
Waukesha County Public Health currently has five active contact tracing teams consisting of thirty county employees. Starting the week of March 30, the Waukesha County Emergency Operations Center worked with county departments to reassign staff to assist Public Health in the contact tracing team’s response to mitigate the pandemic. The contact tracing team utilizes a performance dashboard to track the efficiency of their efforts. The team is able to achieve their goal of tracing close contacts of both confirmed and probable cases within 24 hours of identification or 48 hours from notification of a positive case.
Even before the Badger Bounce Back order’s goal to significantly increase COVID-19 testing, Waukesha County had already started the process of creating a standard vetting and onboarding process so that new teams dedicated to contact tracing would be trained to meet higher demand.
What is Contact Tracing?
Contact tracing is one of the key approaches to control communicable diseases. The initial objective is to contact individuals who tested positive for the COVID virus within 24 hours and quickly identify individuals they have been in close contact with for additional follow-up. Those identified individuals are then contacted (with a goal of 24 hours) to discuss their potential exposure and initiate proper precautions including quarantining them to slow the spread of the disease. More information about how contact tracing is conducted in Waukesha County is available here.
The contact tracing process applies to all confirmed COVID-19 cases in Waukesha County, including any cases that may have had close contact with our facilities and staff. As of April 22, Public Health has investigated more than 3,500 suspected cases. Currently, approximately 8.5% of the suspect cases have become confirmed cases.
More information about Waukesha County’s response to COVID-19 is available at www.waukeshacounty.gov/covid19.