With NYS contact tracing over, what should you do if you test positive?

The Tompkins County Health Department says the New York State Virtual Call Center (NYS VCC), which performed contact tracing and notification, will discontinue services at the end of the month and has advice on what to do if you test positive for COVID -19.

“The NYS VCC has been the primary method of tracking phone calls and text messages for positive cases since local contact tracing efforts ended earlier this year,” the Department of Health said.

Related: TCHD: If you test positive on a home test

“The general public should not expect to receive a follow-up phone call or text if they test positive,” they say, but suggest the following steps:

  • You must immediately self-isolate for 5 days from the date of the positive test result or the onset of symptoms, whichever comes first. Continue to wear a tight-fitting mask around others for an additional 5 days after the isolation period ends.
  • Everyone in your household (with whom you live) is at increased risk of infection. All household members should monitor themselves closely for symptoms, especially if they are unvaccinated, immunocompromised, or have other underlying health conditions. They can contact their healthcare provider for any concerns and further treatment.
  • Please inform close contacts that they may have been exposed. A close contact is defined as someone who has been within 6 feet of an infected person for a cumulative total of 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period during the infectious period. Close contacts should monitor each other closely for symptoms and request a PCR test if symptoms develop.
  • If you test positive using a self-test kit, please complete the Tompkins County Resident Self-Test Report Form. The online form will ask you for basic contact information and to upload a photo of your test kit result. Once the form is submitted, you will receive an automated email with additional guidance and documentation indicating that you have submitted a positive self-test result to the Tompkins County Health Department.
  • Continue to monitor your symptoms and contact your primary care provider if you have any questions or concerns. Staying hydrated, resting, and taking medicine to reduce fever (such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen) can help relieve symptoms.
  • People who test positive and who are elderly or at high risk for serious illness may be eligible for treatment options that can be prescribed by a doctor.
  • Anyone who does not currently have a primary care physician or is uninsured and is looking for a local provider should call 2-1-1 (1-877-211-8667).
  • If you experience any of the emergency warning signs of difficulty breathing, persistent chest pain or pressure, bluish lips or face, call 9-1-1 immediately.

Related: COVID self-test kits are being distributed by Tompkins County through several local partners

“This third year of the COVID-19 pandemic theme has largely been self-management,” says Tompkins County Public Health Director Frank Kruppa. “We ask the community to continue their efforts by keeping up to date with their vaccinations, wearing masks in public, seeking testing and staying home when sick, and monitoring for symptoms.”

Related: Many are eligible for a second booster or additional doses, according to the Department of Health

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