KDHE halts COVID-19 contact tracing operations | KSNF/KODE

TOPEKA, Kan. – The Kansas Department of Health will no longer conduct outreach and contact surveillance beginning February 1, 2022.

“As we enter the third year of this pandemic, public health must begin to adjust the level of response to help ease the strain on the public health system,” said acting secretary Janet Stanek.

KDHE said contract tracing staff will be reassigned to contact investigations.

The department said county health departments across the state are already scaling back their contact tracing efforts and K-12 schools participating in contact tracing may also suspend operations.

“The pandemic is far from over, but this step is a step towards managing COVID-19 as an endemic disease,” Stanek said. “The responsibility to protect ourselves and others belongs to all of us.”

A person who tests positive for COVID-19 will now be responsible for notifying close contacts. If the person has exposed others in high-risk environments, KDHE or the local health department will contact the environment.

As omicron variant of COVID-19 virus continues to spread, KDHE recommends people get vaccinated and given a booster shot, wear masks, get tested, and stay home if exposed or if they are sick.

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