FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 2, 2022
Contact: Black Hawk County Health Department
Black Hawk County Health Department is scaling back universal countywide COVID-19 case contact tracing and investigation, and transitioning to a more strategic COVID-19 response.
This decision comes following a joint statement from national public health organizations, including National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO) and Association of State and Territorial Health Officials (ASTHO). The statement recommends local pandemic response move toward more targeted investigations and emphasize other critical measures to better protect the public’s health.
Universal investigation and contact tracing will officially end February 11, 2022, however the Department will continue to provide education and send isolation and quarantine guidance to individuals who test positive via state laboratory results. The department’s COVID-19 call center will remain open for incoming calls through April 1, 2022.
Dr. Nafissa Cisse-Egbuonye stresses that the transition from individual contact tracing and investigation does not mean that the health department is ending it’s nearly two-year COVID-19 response efforts.
“The pandemic is still a top priority for Black Hawk County Health Department, and contact tracing has been an integral part of that response” said Dr. Egbuonye. “However, like the many phases of the pandemic, we also need to consider how we can be most effective in keeping the community healthy.”
The Department will refocus resources and efforts on strategies that prevent and reduce severe illness due to COVID-19. This includes continuing to work with community health partners to offer vaccine and testing opportunities, increased education to vulnerable populations and high-risk settings, and targeted investigations as needed.