District Health Department #10 announced Tuesday that they are discontinuing universal individual level contact tracing.
They say this comes after the MDHHS announced they would be discontinuing the process.
According to DHD#10, it is now up to each Michigander who tests positive for COVID-19 to notify any and all potential close contacts.
“The effort our staff has put in to perform contact tracing over the past two years has been enormous,” said Kevin Hughes, Health Officer for DHD#10. “It is now time to empower the residents of our communities to take on this role and notify anyone they may have had close contact with while contagious.”
DHD#10 states that they will now focus on targeted identification, response and mitigation of COVID-19 clusters and outbreaks, especially for vulnerable populations and those associated in congregated settings such as long-term care facilities, group homes, schools, shelters and dormitories.
Officials say this change in focus of public health resources on outbreak venues and clusters will “maximize public health outcomes in an environment of strained and limited staffing capacity.”
However, DHD#10 will continue to send secure text notifications via TigerConnect to those who do test positive for the virus within their ten-county jurisdiction so that individuals can begin close contact tracing.
Those who do test positive will receive the following secure text message:
“This is District Health Department #10. We are following up regarding your recent COVID-19 test. If you are POSITIVE for COVID-19, regardless of vaccination status, stay home for 5 days. If you have no symptoms or your symptoms are resolving and you are fever free after 5 days, you can leave your house. Continue to follow strict mask wearing around others for an additional 5 days.”
The text message will also provide instructions for completing an online survey to help case investigators learn about where someone may have contracted the coronavirus.
“We fully understand that phishing scams are a real thing and some people may not feel comfortable responding to a text message,” said Jeannine Taylor, DHD#10 Public Information Officer, “If you feel uneasy, please email us at email@example.com or give us a call at (231) 305-8675 to help confirm the authenticity of this message.”
If you need a COVID-19 test, DHD#10 is hosting testing clinics at various locations in their jurisdiction. To find a testing site,