Knowledgebase

Another employer in another health region is asking for some insight into how contact tracing works. Through a few positive cases, they have not been contacted by the health region and have done their best on their own to identify which of their staff needed to be notified, or quarantine.

It’s similar process. If a new case is diagnosed, they will be reached by public health and interviewed, and looked at the contacts. This could be their household members they live with, can be social contacts, and include looking at their work place. Looking for people who are close in staying in contact with the case. Typical time frame would be 15 minutes within that 2 meters distance. Sometimes we would be concerned with contact scenarios. If people are working in close proximity for a certain task, it could be considered close contacts. If it’s over 2 meters and they are working in the same room, they could be asked to isolate. Public health will asses this and make these decisions on who in a workplace needs to isolate, who may need to be notified but doesn’t have to isolate. Looking at thresholds who will get which intervention, and then notify the entire workplace if it’s deemed necessary – for wide spread exposure. Many workplaces have taken on some of their own contact tracing, trying to isolate people who have been in close contact. Generally speaking we ask that you wait for public health to do that. You can work with us, contact tracers, and inform us if there has been close contact is part of the day to day in the workplace. We are always looking for more information. We have experience where entire shifts/workplaces have been put off for days, which may not have been needed. The proactive work from employers is great, but please do so in consultation with public health.

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