Contact tracing COVID-19 remains a priority in South Dakota

KELOLAND.com Original

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — Contact tracing remains a key component in the response against COVID-19. 

As South Dakota approaches nearly 2,000 COVID-19 deaths and 120,379 total cases, Secretary of Health Kim Malsam-Rysdon said contact tracing continues in South Dakota. The State Department of Health uses a web-based survey to help the contact tracing process as well as using designated staff members to conduct contact tracing. 

“Testing, contact tracing, monitoring hospital capacity and now vaccinations remain critical aspects of our overall response,” Malsam-Rysdon said. “We will continue to do that as long as we are experiencing this pandemic.” 

Contact tracing slows the spread of COVID-19 by identifying close contacts of someone who tested positive. It lets close contacts to monitor for signs of symptoms. The DOH says information gathered during the contact tracing process is confidential. 

Contact tracing of cases led the Minnesota Department of Health to link 16 confirmed cases to a youth wrestling tournament held in Sioux Falls March 31-April 3. 

Malsam-Rysdon said it was important to note the state of Minnesota is dealing with widespread COVID-19 transmission across the state. 

“There is a lot of COVID happening in the state of Minnesota,” Malsam-Rysdon said

State epidemiologist Dr. Joshua Clayton said the latest 7-day average of COVID-19 cases is 224 cases per day, which is up 20% from the previous 7-day average. 

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