Announcing the tenth positive case in Stevens County, yesterday, May 18, 2020 prompted many questions about what this means for progressing to Phase 3. We know that testing capacity and availability, health care system readiness, protection of vulnerable populations, disease activity and case investigations will again be areas evaluated. Using these metrics, we are still within acceptable levels to request advancement to Phase 3 once we have completed our minimum of three weeks. If we are unable to limit exposure and prevent sustained community spread with additional cases, this could potentially pause our advancement to Phase 3.
Thus far, we have been successful at quickly identifying close contacts and being able to limit exposure early on. This is largely in part due to the cooperation of our positive COVID-19 patients and their close contacts. Northeast Tri County Health District (NETCHD) staff performing the case notifications have been able to make connections quickly and provide the education and guidance to those individuals right away, which has prevented further spread. We understand many are apprehensive about this process, but this will be a critical component in maintaining low case numbers going forward.
What Does Contact Notification Mean?