KSLA was asked recently what our provider's responsibilities are related to contact tracing in senior living.
According to materials found on DAIL's website, health care providers are required to report anyone with a positive COVID-19 lab test, or someone who is highly likely to have COVID-19, to the Local Health Department (LHD). At that point, the LHD is responsible for the contact tracing process.
Once the LHD receives this information, a Public Health worker reaches out to individuals who have COVID-19 to asses their situation, provide resources, and ask about any recent in-person close contacts who may have been exposed to the disease. Instructions are provided about how to stop spreading the disease and what to do until they recover.
Then, a Public Health worker notifies recent in-person close contacts (names provided by the person with the positive COVID-19 diagnosis) that they may have been exposed to COVID-19 and provides instructions and connects these individuals to local resources.
According to the CDC, a "close contact" is defined as "Someone who was within 6 feet of an infected person for at least 15 minutes starting from 2 days before illness onset (or, for asymptomatic patients, 2 days prior to specimen collection) until the time the patient is isolated."
Then, a Public Health worker does follow-up calls to all Individuals to see how they are doing and gather any new information.
Click Here to watch a brief video that shows the Local Health Department's process for contact tracing.
KSLA was unable to find any documentation on either the DAIL website, the CDC website or the KPH website that details an AL or PC community's responsibility regarding contact tracing. However, upon receiving a positive COVID-19 result in AL or PC, the local Health Department may contact the community to offer guidance and next steps. A best practice for AL/PC would be to keep records of dining, activity and visitation schedules that track where residents and family members were each day, and with whom they may have shared common spaces. This information could be offered to the LHD, if requested, to aid in their contact tracing efforts. If we receive any further guidance regarding this from DAIL or OIG, we will let you know.
In the meantime, you can Click Here to see "Contact Tracing Frequently Asked Questions" published by the Kentucky Department of Public Health and adopted by Team Kentucky and the Cabinet for Health and Family Services.
Also, there are a lot of resources on the Kentucky Department of Public Health's website. Click Here to check them out. Some are collateral appropriate for posting in communities and on social media platforms.