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: 397421

Reported Deaths: 5299
CountyCasesDeaths
Multnomah61160856
Washington42725408
Marion40378520
Clackamas33323391
Lane30531364
Jackson25267363
Deschutes24034198
Umatilla15178184
Linn15004184
Douglas13635295
Josephine10388249
Yamhill9916145
Klamath9144153
Polk8384103
Benton624440
Malheur594093
Coos5854109
Columbia442156
Jefferson427268
Lincoln369155
Crook345558
Union341857
Wasco320747
Clatsop265835
Baker223133
Tillamook220646
Hood River218637
Morrow198925
Curry194639
Harney121933
Grant109216
Lake106418
Wallowa76513
Sherman1953
Gilliam1854
Wheeler1161
Unassigned00

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 5128725

Reported Deaths: 74953
CountyCasesDeaths
Los Angeles153845127262
San Diego4104514351
Riverside3912955388
San Bernardino3784085998
Orange3370455783
Sacramento1699162462
Kern1590231841
Fresno1581872284
Santa Clara1536961933
Alameda1262241514
San Joaquin1084911837
Ventura1049251194
Contra Costa1046451058
Stanislaus923321436
Tulare869791102
San Francisco57458674
San Mateo56861631
Monterey52973626
Solano48014360
Santa Barbara47846555
Merced45506672
Sonoma43609414
Placer42736473
Imperial39148778
Kings35547369
San Luis Obispo31803360
Madera26511315
Shasta26353465
Butte25690320
Santa Cruz22540224
Yolo21792263
Marin18728249
El Dorado18544168
Sutter14691186
Napa13501107
Yuba1084791
Humboldt10360119
Tehama10329133
Nevada10187105
Mendocino873799
Lassen801259
San Benito793980
Tuolumne782691
Lake7073113
Amador583267
Siskiyou480757
Glenn460336
Calaveras449988
Del Norte380442
Colusa329821
Inyo259446
Plumas19679
Mono19274
Mariposa163818
Trinity102117
Modoc7956
Unassigned3820
Sierra2210
Alpine1080
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