Fairfax Co. changing contact tracing plan due to rising COVID-19 cases

The surge in recent COVID-19 cases is forcing a change in Fairfax County, Virginia’s, contact tracing plan.

The county’s health department will no longer call every person who tested positive for COVID-19 and close contacts. Instead, Fairfax County Health Director Dr. Gloria Addo-Ayensu said that due to the recent surge, contact tracers will focus on calling people who live and work in congregate settings, such as long-term care facilities or group homes, children who are in school or other child care settings, and people who are infected as part of an outbreak.

“Throughout the entire pandemic, we have continued to adapt to meet the needs of our community,” Addo-Ayensu said in a news release. “With the recent surge and high burden of COVID-19 cases, we must once again pivot to work as efficiently as possible in how we investigate cases.”

Others who are not in a higher-risk situation will be notified via text message from the health department, telling them to isolate for 10 days.

All individuals who are COVID-19 positive will be asked to complete wellness checks through the Sara Alert system, whether they receive a traditional phone investigation or a text alert. It is a secure messaging service that sends a daily email or text message so residents can report their symptoms

Virginia health officials said Omicron makes up 76% of new infections. That beats the national average by three points.

During the holiday season, Fairfax County is urging people to get tested before gathering with others, especially if you plan to visit with people who are vulnerable or at higher risk for severe illness if they develop COVID-19.

More Coronavirus news

Looking for more information? D.C., Maryland and Virginia are each releasing more data every day. Visit their official sites here: Virginia | Maryland | D.C.

Kyle Cooper

Weekend and fill-in anchor Kyle Cooper has been with WTOP since 1992. Over those 25 years, Kyle has worked as a street reporter, editor and anchor. Prior to WTOP, Kyle worked at several radio stations in Indiana and at the Indianapolis Star Newspaper.

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