South Dakota Secretary of Health explains COVID-19 contact tracing

KELOLAND.com Original

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — As of Friday, 131 people are part of the contact tracing team, which does positive COVID-19 case notification in South Dakota.

How the process works?

Any lab that has a positive COVID-19 test of a South Dakota resident reports that to South Dakota’s Department of Health. The state then notifies that individual and begins investigating where they’ve been so they can identify who the person has come in contact with.

“Once we have that investigation completed, then we have a team of folks that work on notifying those close contacts,” Kim Malsam-Rysdon, South Dakota’s Secretary of the Department of Health, said.

Officials reach out to people by calling the number they have on file; if that doesn’t work, they send them a letter in the mail.

“If you’re getting a phone call from the Department of Health, please pick up. We want to reach you; we want to share information with you, so that you can be safe and you can keep other people safe. I’m just respectfully asking folks to work with us so that we can really help contain the spread of COVID-19,” Malsam-Rysdon said.

State officials say the process will be easier if residents of South Dakota download the CARE19 app.

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