Georgia Department of Public Health expands contact tracing for COVID-19

The Georgia Department of Public Health plans to add 1,000 more contact tracers for COVID-19 in the coming weeks. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
The Georgia Department of Public Health plans to add 1,000 more contact tracers for COVID-19 in the coming weeks. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)

The Georgia Department of Public Health plans to add 1,000 more contact tracers for COVID-19 in the coming weeks. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)

The Georgia Department of Public Health is expanding contact tracing for COVID-19 statewide beginning May 12, according to a news release from the GDPH. Contact tracing is used to identify and mitigate hot spots of infection to help prevent further spread of the virus, the news release said.

Here is how contact tracing works, according to the news release:

  • Once a COVID-19 case is identified, public health staff work with that individual to help them recall everyone they have had close contact with and where they went while they may have been infectious.

  • Contacts identified during the interview will be called by trained GDPH staff indicating that they have been exposed to COVID-19, asking them to enroll in GDPH symptom monitoring and informing them that they must self-quarantine for 14 days after the exposure.


About 250 contact tracers are deployed throughout the state. To date, more than 3,800 individuals testing positive for COVID-19 have been contacted and nearly 13,000 contacts identified.


The department's goal, according to the release, is to have more than 1,000 contact tracers within the coming weeks. To do this, the department has partnered with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Foundation to add a deployment coordinator and a training and learning coordinator to the GDPH's COVID-19 response team to help oversee the training and deployment of additional contact tracers as well as coordinating with other public health districts, the release said. Training is already underway for 200 new contact tracers and 70 medical students and masters of public health candidates who joined the GDPH in the last two weeks.

In addition, the GDPH introduced a new online monitoring tool to make contact tracing more efficient, the release said. The new, web-based portal allows identified contacts to answer questions about their health and symptoms related to COVID-19. Should the individual report symptoms, the system will prompt the person to call 911 if they are in a medical emergency, to consult with their health care provider if they are sick and need medical care, or to schedule COVID-19 testing if the individual reported mild symptoms and does not need medical care, according to the release.

"Contact tracing in Georgia is 100% confidential—the identity of the person who tests positive and the information on those who might have been exposed will not be shared," the release said.
By Kara McIntyre
Kara started with Community Impact Newspaper as the summer intern for the south Houston office in June 2018 after graduating with a bachelor's degree in mass communication from Midwestern State University in Wichita Falls, Texas. She became the reporter for north Houston's Tomball/Magnolia edition in September 2018, moving to Alpharetta in January 2020 after a promotion to be the editor of the Alpharetta/Milton edition, which is Community Impact's first market in Georgia.


MOST RECENT

The First Street Foundation's dataset includes a forecast models that anticipate the effects of climate change and sea level rise. (Screenshot via First Street Foundation)
Analysis: FEMA may be undercounting national total flood risk by as much as 70%

The new dataset includes an interactive Flood Factor dashboard that anyone can use to assess the risk of flooding over a 30-year period for any address.

When interest rates are low, homeowners may look to save money by refinancing, which means getting a new mortgage with a better term or interest rate to lower payments. (Source: Matt Frankel/Community Impact Newspaper)
'Refinancing isn't free:' How to navigate refinancing a mortgage

When interest rates are low, homeowners may look to save money by refinancing, which means getting a new mortgage with a better term or interest rate to lower payments.

Coronavirus cell
Coronavirus in Georgia: State breaks single-day record again with over 3,400 cases reported July 2

While single-day state case counts are breaking records, Alpharetta and Milton have seen 201 and 109 cases, respectively, of COVID-19 so far.

Houston-based Christian Brothers Automotive operates more than 200 locations across the United States. (Courtesy Christian Brothers Automotive)
Q&A: Christian Brothers Automotive CEO talks commercial real estate, essential business operations amid pandemic

The Houston-based automotive company has franchise locations throughout Texas, Georgia, Tennessee and Arizona.

In communities across the nation, Walmart Supercenter parking lots will be transformed into contact-free, drive-in movie theaters beginning in August. (Courtesy Walmart)
Walmart to bring drive-in movies to 160 stores nationwide in August, launch virtual summer camp

Families can also enjoy a virtual summer camp experience Walmart is launching July 8 with sessions led by celebrities, including Drew Barrymore, Neil Patrick Harris and LeBron James.

Coronavirus cell
Coronavirus in Georgia: New record set in daily case counts with nearly 3,000 new cases reported

For the last 10 days, per-day COVID-19 case counts in Georgia have increased by quadruple-digit numbers, rising by a record high of 2,946 cases from June 30 to July 1.

Coronavirus cell
Coronavirus in Georgia: Case counts, current hospitalizations continuing to rise

COVID-19 case counts statewide increased by nearly 2,000 cases from yesterday to today, while current hospitalizations rose by 100 people to a record total of 1,459 current hospitalizations.

Fulton County Schools board members voted to delay the start of the school year by one week and discussed plans to reopen schools with faculty and staff wearing masks and taking other health and safety precautions due to the spread of COVID-19. (Community Impact Newspaper staff)
Fulton County Schools pushes fall start date to Aug. 17, opens registration for optional virtual school

Fulton County Schools board members voted to delay the start of the school year by one week and discussed plans to reopen schools with faculty and staff wearing masks and taking other health and safety precautions due to the spread of COVID-19.

Coronavirus cell
Coronavirus: Georgia reports highest daily totals of COVID-19 cases

Public health data shows that Georgia has seen its highest daily totals of reported COVID-19 cases in the last two days, rising by more than 2,200 cases each day June 28 and 29.

Tandoori chicken with a lemon slice and stem of cilantro, served on a plate
Zyka Indian Restaurant expected to open in Alpharetta in late July

Zyka Indian Restaurant is expected to open at the end of July on Brookside Parkway in Alpharetta.

Food displayed on a table
Milton Restaurant Week to debut this November

Milton Restaurant Week will take place Nov. 6-14, including local restaurants such as Your Pie, Cheeses & Mary, Olde Blind Dog Irish Pub and Scratch...fresh.

Coronavirus cell
Georgia case counts spike, outpacing testing increases; Alpharetta, Milton seeing less than 200 cases each

While case counts in Georgia are outpacing the number of viral tests being administered, the cities of Alpharetta and Milton are still seeing less than 200 cases of COVID-19 in each city.