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Backtracking confirmed COVID-19 cases to help slow the virus' spread

Health agencies in Josephine and Jackson County work to compile a list of contacts from positive coronavirus patients.

Posted: Mar 24, 2020 5:34 PM
Updated: Mar 24, 2020 6:36 PM

MEDFORD, Ore. — When a new case of the novel coronavirus is confirmed, a team of case investigators works backward from 14 days of the first sign of symptoms to try and find people who may have been exposed.

The case investigators in Josephine County will work with the patient, the patient's health care provider and any organizations the patient has contact with.


RELATED: Asante employee in Josephine County tests positive for COVID-19


It's a multi-agency task force that helps retrace the steps of the patient. In Josephine County, there are currently nine agencies working together to collect this information.

"Through a thorough contact investigation, we are able to gain demographic information. Phone numbers, address, things of that nature," Anthony Perry, a communicable disease specialist for Josephine County Public Health, said.

With that information, investigators create a contact list of people who could've come in contact with. The process typically takes three to six days per case but varies based on a patient and the social interactions they typically have with others.

When those contacts are identified, the team interviews the contact and then finds out if they are at risk to have been exposed.

"With symptomatic individuals, they will become persons under investigation," said Perry. "We will then conduct monitoring with them, but for individuals who do not have any symptoms, those individuals are just recommended to self-isolate at home, monitor their fever and their symptoms and then from there, if they develop, then we will proceed further with either testing or treatment of their symptoms.”

"There are certain groups of people who are at high risk for complications for COVID-19, so those people would be more likely to be tested," said Josephine County Public Health Officer Dr. David Candelaria. "These would be people who are older people with morbidities, people who are residents of long term care facilities. But what’s different in this case investigation is because of the scarcity in supplies for testing and the test itself, not everyone who becomes symptomatic will become tested.”

Oregon Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 154554

Reported Deaths: 2204
CountyCasesDeaths
Multnomah31785528
Washington21060212
Marion18335285
Clackamas13310175
Lane10172126
Jackson8299111
Umatilla763181
Deschutes591859
Yamhill375964
Linn356556
Malheur334358
Polk302942
Klamath277455
Douglas242853
Benton231816
Josephine231649
Jefferson195028
Coos142519
Union127519
Columbia124321
Wasco122026
Lincoln112820
Hood River106329
Morrow104414
Clatsop7756
Crook77518
Baker6487
Curry4166
Tillamook4122
Lake3746
Harney2726
Grant2221
Wallowa1424
Gilliam531
Sherman530
Wheeler221
Unassigned00

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 3554629

Reported Deaths: 51395
CountyCasesDeaths
Los Angeles118754221106
Riverside2891853749
San Bernardino2853342673
Orange2603483889
San Diego2589823260
Santa Clara1098411765
Kern102627811
Fresno947941412
Sacramento929441464
Alameda800881224
Ventura77238834
San Joaquin665691082
Contra Costa62164674
Stanislaus55775944
Tulare47784746
Monterey42138327
San Mateo38763515
San Francisco34061398
Santa Barbara31763407
Solano29968164
Merced28915395
Sonoma27954298
Imperial26843589
Kings21951218
Placer19713231
San Luis Obispo19612227
Madera15390209
Santa Cruz14588183
Marin13136197
Yolo12760185
Shasta10944174
Butte10915160
El Dorado9095100
Napa897668
Sutter884597
San Benito574359
Yuba573336
Lassen560119
Tehama508152
Tuolumne394659
Nevada393274
Mendocino379643
Amador344441
Humboldt316033
Lake313440
Glenn221023
Colusa212813
Calaveras190547
Siskiyou174014
Inyo128736
Mono12114
Del Norte9875
Plumas6536
Modoc4524
Mariposa3947
Trinity3675
Sierra990
Alpine810
Unassigned00
Medford
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Brookings
Mostly Cloudy
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Hi: 46° Lo: 36°
Feels Like: 43°
Medford
Cloudy
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Medford
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Klamath Falls
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