Beginning with cases reported on Friday, Oct. 30, disease investigation and follow-up for COVID-19 cases in Jones County residents will be conducted by the Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH).

Up until this point, all investigations and contact tracing were conducted by Jones County Public Health Staff.

“It was a difficult decision,” Jones County Public Health Director Jenna Lovaas said of the decision to transition the case investigation and follow-up responsibilities to IDPH. “But we simply do not have enough staff to manage the rapidly increasing number of cases in the county.”

As of Monday, Nov. 2, approximately half of all counties in Iowa have transitioned to utilizing IDPH for their COVID-19 related case investigations.

Jones County residents who receive a positive COVID-19 test result should expect to be contacted via phone by trained disease investigators from IDPH. During the interview process, information is collected from the case on demographics, health information including symptoms and risk factors, and individuals who may have been exposed. Additionally, isolation and quarantine instructions are given.

However, Jones County Public Health staff will still have access to all information regarding COVID-19 cases in the county and are available to provide assistance to the public as needed.

If you have been exposed to COVID-19, you are asked stay at home (quarantine) for 14-days from your last contact with the person who tested positive and limit contact with other people in your household. If you develop symptoms, contact your healthcare provider or seek testing through www.testiowa.com.

Jones County Public Health continues to recommend residents participate in the important disease mitigation strategies of frequent hand hygiene, staying home when feeling unwell, social distancing and wearing face coverings when in public.

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