Contact tracers need public’s help with surge in cases

SAN LUIS OBISPO — COVID-19 contact tracers in San Luis Obispo County need the public’s help as a surge in cases recently has strained County Public Health Department resources.  

“Don’t wait to isolate,” said Dr. Penny Borenstein, County Health Officer. “Our contact tracers are trying to keep up with the local surge in cases but may not be able to call you immediately. We need your help. Immediately stay home for at least 10 days if you test positive or have been exposed.”

The County Public Health Department is working as quickly as possible to contact all active cases and alert their close contacts, but resources are stretched beyond capacity due to the current surge. Because of this, local health officials are asking for the public’s assistance — both to help to reduce the number of cases locally and to take immediate action if COVID-19 positive or have been in close contact with someone who has COVID-19.  

If you test positive for COVID-19, self-isolate for at least 10 days immediately and notify your close contacts of their need to quarantine for at least 10 days from exposure. If you have been in close contact — within 6 feet for 15 minutes or more — with someone who has tested positive, begin self-quarantine for at least 10 days immediately. In either case, don’t wait for a contact tracer to call. Stay home except to seek medical care and separate yourself as much as possible from other members of your household. 

Getting through this together, Atascadero

When quarantine or isolation is complete, self-certify online to be released rather than calling the County Public Health Department. For those whose employers require documentation showing that an employee has been released from isolation or quarantine, the County now provides an interactive online form that helps individuals self-certify that they have completed their ordered isolation or quarantine period and are eligible for release. 

After completing the interactive online form, eligible individuals will receive official documentation that they have been released from isolation or quarantine. This option will not apply to those who work or live at a board and care facility or those who are immunocompromised. The County Public Health Department will instead directly call to release anyone who falls into one of those categories.  

For more information, visit www.ReadySLO.org or call the recorded Public Health Information Line at 805-788-2903.