As the Delta variant spreads, contact tracing continues to be critical. The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment is asking Coloradans to participate in tracing contact with local public health agencies, who may call or email you after you test positive for. virus or exposed to someone while infectious. Local public health agencies play a central role in tracing contacts, obtaining information for people who test positive for the virus, and finding and informing others who may have been exposed. They can also connect people to health browsers to make sure they have the resources they need to isolate or quarantine to prevent further spread.
CDPHE provides technical assistance and resources to local public health agencies. The role of CDPHE is complementary to that of local public health agencies, especially when the spread of the disease is increased. In Colorado, most disease investigations are initiated at the local level, and local public health agencies are empowered by law as experts. This is in line with how the state handles other communicable disease investigations and creates a more sustainable investigative response at this point in the pandemic.
“Contact tracing is an important tool in our public health toolkit to help minimize disease transmission,” said Dr Rachel Herlihy, state epidemiologist. “Through contract research, case investigators are able to quickly provide isolation and quarantine instructions, preventing additional contacts from contracting COVID-19. “
In May, local public health agencies received funding under the Federal Cooperation Agreement on Epidemiology and Laboratory Capacity to maintain and increase their case investigation and contact tracing resources. . The money is intended to be used for case investigation, contact tracing, outbreak investigation and testing efforts.
The state has provided a framework to local public health agencies detailing how to prioritize investigations, if necessary, and will continue to collaborate and provide emergency support as needed. As transmission rates increase, local public health agencies and the CDPHE may need to use case, contact, and outbreak prioritization strategies to mitigate outbreaks and protect high-risk Coloradans. The state is closely monitoring the transmission of the disease and will make the necessary adjustments to protect public health.
In related news, the CDPHE announced on Wednesday that it had updated its COVID-19 website to include a new vaccine breakthrough data visualization.
The new visualization provides proportional case, hospitalization and death rates by vaccination status as well as toggles that allow the user to view groundbreaking data by vaccine type and demographic information such as age, gender and race / ethnicity. This information is obtained by comparing data from the Colorado Electronic Disease Reporting System (CEDRS) to vaccination information from the Colorado Immunization Information System (CIIS).
Definitions and methodologies related to visualization are included in the circular blue information button near the top of the data. In this COVID-19 vaccine discovery data, a case is recorded when a person tests positive 14 days or more after completing all of the recommended doses of their vaccine series. Hospitalization is recorded when a person is admitted or under observation for 24 hours or more and had a positive COVID-19 diagnosis on admission or discharge, or who received a positive test while hospitalized. COVID-19 deaths include cases in which deaths were caused by COVID-19, based on death certificates completed by coroners or medical certifiers and official coding completed by the National Center for Health Statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
A vaccine breakthrough means that a fully vaccinated person develops the disease against which they were vaccinated. Since no vaccine is 100% effective, we would expect to see cases among fully vaccinated individuals. As the percentage of the population fully vaccinated against COVID-19 increases over time, the number of fully vaccinated cases is also expected to increase.
Science shows that vaccines are safe and very effective in preventing infections, and more importantly in preventing the worst consequences – serious illness, hospitalization, or death – for those who are infected. The majority of hospitalizations among fully vaccinated Coloradans are in older populations. The most protective measures we can take to protect those most at risk and reduce the spread in the community are to get vaccinated and follow other public health recommendations like choosing to wear a mask indoors in the community. public places, avoid large gatherings, wash your hands and stay home when you are sick.
Keep staying up to date by visiting covid19.colorado.gov.