Health experts: testing, contact tracing remains important to prevent COVID outbreaks

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AP Illustration / Peter Hamlin;

INDIANAPOLIS — Getting tested and contact tracing for COVID-19 are both just as important now as they were at the beginning of the pandemic.

Health experts with the Fairbanks School of Public Health say contact tracing is most important at the beginning and toward the end of an outbreak. That’s because those times are when numbers are lower, so you have a better chance of isolating cases.

Contact tracing was especially important during the NCAA tournament, and health experts say they plan to use the success they saw then and apply those practices to the month of May.

“We’re adding in special questions just as we did with NCAA to ask if anyone had been in the area around IMS, if they attended a race, if they attended any special events related to it so that way we can really capture what’s going in the community related to these special events,” said Shandy Dearth, Director/Undergraduate Epidemiology Program at Fairbanks School of Public Health.

Health experts say it’s especially important to get tested if you have any symptoms of COVID. A lot of people think they have allergies and then test positive. They’re also encouraging everyone to get vaccinated.

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