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COVID Overwhelming Saline County Health Department

Todd PittengerNovember 11, 2020

The Saline County Health Department is becoming overwhelmed dealing with COVID-19. Though because of Veteran’s Day there will be no Wednesday report, the agency says it received over 50 new cases on Tuesday.

“The Health Department is extremely overwhelmed with the number of new case investigations,” said Saline County Health Officer Jason Tiller. “With the excessive amount of cases, it slows down our staff in the ability to contact new cases quickly.” Tiller said  staff is still working on contacting cases from Monday, and they received over 50 new cases Tuesday.

A single case investigation can take a few hours; but with any amount of complexity, one case can take an entire day to properly investigate. Tiller said “please be patient with us, it may take several days before all contacts in one case can be called.  Our staff continues to work very hard to do what is required of them.  Please be patient, please be kind.”

If you have been tested for COVID-19, you need to isolate in your home until your test results are back.  Those that are notified of a positive COVID-19 test you should:

  • Isolate for at minimum 10 days from symptom onset and be 72 hours fever free and have a significant improvement in symptoms.
  • Close Contacts are defined as those persons within 6 feet or greater for 10 minutes of more two days prior to the positive cases’ symptom onset date.
  • Close Contacts need to quarantine for two weeks from their last contact date unless living in the same household, and then it would be two weeks past the positive case’s isolation release date.
  • If after several days, the Health Department has not reached out to a close contact, the Health Department may not have been notified of the contact exposure and you will need to notify the Health Department; but please be patient and continue to quarantine until then.

We’ve been in this pandemic for nine months and as we enter cold and flu season it is just as important now as it has always been to continue to do the things that we know works to help slow the spread of COVID-19:

  1. Wash your hands often, for at least 20 seconds with warm soapy water.  Use hand sanitizer if you do not have access to soap and water.
  2. Maintain physical distance between yourself and others of at least 6 feet or more.
  3. Wear masks in public spaces as required by City Ordinance and County Resolution.  Masks do not prevent you from getting COVID-19, the flu, or other contagious diseases but they do, however, prevent other people from catching certain diseases from you.  You must cover your nose and mouth for masks to be effective.
  4. Sanitize frequently touched surfaces and areas such as doorknobs, handles, cell phones, tablets, etc.
  5. Stay home if you are sick.  Regardless if you think it may be a cold, it could be allergies, but it also could be something worse.


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