Recently, on any given day, we may receive over 100 reports of new COVID-19 cases in the Roanoke City and Alleghany Health Districts.
Such a high volume of new cases can strain our ability to conduct case investigations and contact tracing of all positive cases in a timely manner.
Given this, we ask for your help — if you test positive for COVID-19, please identify your close contacts and reach out to let them know you’ve tested positive. Working together, we can protect our community.
A close contact is defined as someone who was within six feet of an infected person for a cumulative total of 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period starting from two days before illness onset (or, for asymptomatic patients, two days prior to test specimen collection) through the time the infected person is isolated.
Examples of close contacts include people who live or work with the person who tested positive or people who have shared a meal with someone who tested positive.
If you have COVID-19, consider using the below sample message to notify your close contacts:
Hi. I have been diagnosed with COVID-19. I’m reaching out because when we last met, you may have been exposed to the disease. The Health Department recommends that you:
• Stay home to quarantine and monitor your health for 14 days after we last interacted.
• Even within your home, keep your distance from others and wear a face covering if you cannot maintain a physical distance from others.
• Answer the call: Expect your local health department to contact you with more recommendations.
• Get tested. Contact your healthcare provider to ask about getting tested 7-8 days after your exposure. Even if you test negative during your quarantine period, you will still need to complete your full 14-day quarantine before it is safe to go back to work or be around others.
• If you test positive for COVID-19, please notify your close contacts.
A free, safe, and readily available tool to help quickly notify others of potential exposure is the app called COVIDWISE.
COVIDWISE is the official Virginia Exposure Notifications System app created by the Virginia Department of Health and uses Bluetooth Low Energy technology to quickly notify users who have likely been exposed.
No location data or personal information is ever collected, stored or transmitted to the Virginia Department of Health.
The more Virginians who use COVIDWISE, the greater the likelihood that you will receive timely exposure notifications that lead to effective disease prevention.
The free app is available for download via the App Store and Google Play Store. Additional information is available at COVIDWISE. org.
There are many ways to get involved and help prevent the spread of COVID-19 in our community.
If you do test positive, thank you for helping us by notifying your close contacts.
If you are identified as a close contact to a positive case of COVID-19, thank you for starting your quarantine.
If you are in neither category, thank you for watching your distance, wearing a face covering, and washing your hands — we are all in this together!
The Virginian Review has been serving Covington, Clifton Forge, Alleghany County and Bath County since 1914.