By Gordon McCraw, Tillamook Emergency Manager & COVID-19 Incident Commander
This last week we saw an uptick in cases in Tillamook County. While I think we still squeaked by with under 30 cases for the two-week period which should keep us in the Lower Risk Category (to be announced tomorrow March 9), if this trend were to continue, the next two weeks could put this Lower Risk level in jeopardy. The increasing number has also created other concerns about exposure and the need to self-quarantine. When a positive case of COVID-19 is reported, a Public Health Nurse will contact the individual to do an interview. Anyone who is identified through the interview as a close contact is outreached by a contact tracer. A close contact is defined as someone who spent more than 15 minutes, less than 6’ apart from the individual who tested positive for COVID-19.
The contact tracer will notify the individual of the risk, assess them for symptoms of illness, provide education on quarantine, and set up monitoring for the duration of their quarantine period. The quarantine period is 14 days from the last date of exposure. If the identified contact is a child, the contact tracer will identify a responsible adult. The responsible adult will need to self-quarantine along with the child.
Individuals who are third party contacts DO NOT need to self-quarantine or alter their daily activities. We continue to encourage everyone to practice good hand hygiene, wear your face coverings= when in public around others, and stay home and outreach your provider if you have any signs of illness. Remember, it is still cold and flu season.
If you have any questions you can speak to a Public Health Nurse at 503-842-3940. If there is no answer, please leave a message and a nurse will return you call. For more information about the county’s COVID-19 vaccines, go to www.tillamookchc.org.