Test positive? Call your close acquaintances, the health unit says

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Local health units who have tested positive for COVID-19 are being asked to call their own close acquaintances as public health resources move toward a huge booster shot rollout.

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So far, the health unit has asked everyone who tested positive for their contact list, then sought contact. This involves reaching out to every open person with instructions for a public health worker to self-isolate and monitor themselves for covid symptoms. But requiring all hands on deck again for the vaccine rollout, Health Unit CEO Nicole Dupuis announced on Monday that infected people must inform their acquaintances.

People who test positive will still receive a call from the health unit instructing them to self-isolate with other things.

“We’re relocating all of our resources to the health unit for re-vaccination, so there is a lot of work to be done on behalf of individuals (those who test positive),” Dupuis said.

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Those who spend 15 minutes or more within two meters of an infected person without proper personal protective equipment, such as face masks, are considered close acquaintances.

The Health Unit has updated its website, wechu.org, to provide guidelines for close communication and to ensure up-to-date.

“As we go through this change, our website will continue to be a really important resource for anyone looking for information.”

After previous COVID cases escalated when public health resources became particularly thin, the health unit asked those who tested positive to report their close acquaintances, Dupuis said. At the time, the health unit was still trying to track those contacts, which they would not do now.

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Dupuis also reminded residents to maintain a list of their close acquaintances if they were infected with COVID-19. That way, they know who to turn to.

On Monday, the health unit reported 86 new covid cases, as well as 73 from Saturday and 96 from Sunday.

So far, 23,461 local residents have tested positive for COVID. Of these, 607 cases are active, 483 have died and 22,371 cases have been disposed of.

There are 34 Kovid patients in the area hospital.

Outbreaks appear to be active in 13 workplaces, five in community settings, 17 in school or day care and one long-term care home.

So far, 82.9 percent of local residents aged five and over have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, and 82.9 have been fully vaccinated. Third dose booster shots were given to 74,986 people.

tcampbell@postmedia.com

twitter.com/wstarcampbell

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