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Contact tracing strained as COVID-19 cases surge in Helena

Lewis and Clark Public Health
Lewis and Clark City-County Board of Health adopts emergency COVID rules
Posted at 10:36 AM, Oct 08, 2021
and last updated 2021-10-08 12:36:25-04

HELENA — Helena’s daily active COVID-19 cases surged on Thursday with 133 new cases reported by Lewis and Clark Public Health (LCPH) marking one of the highest daily case counts since December of 2020.

LCPH says contact tracing efforts have been slowed and delayed because of the huge increase in recent cases. They encourage folks who have symptoms or are awaiting test results to take precautionary measures and self-isolate even before being contacted by the health department.

“We all need to just be really vigilant, wear a mask in public places, stay home when you can, just do as much as you can to protect yourself and your family, and don’t forget that vaccine," noted LCPH Disease Control and Prevention Administrator Laurel Riek.
For fully vaccinated individuals who are close contacts to a positive case, with no symptoms:

  • Test 3-5 days after exposure.
  • Wear a face covering in public indoor settings for at least 14 days.
  • Monitor for symptoms of COVID-19 for 14 days following exposure.
  • If you live with an immunosuppressed person or children under the age of 12:
  • Wear a mask at home for 14 days after exposure or until you receive a negative COVID-19 test result.

For fully vaccinated individuals who have COVID-19 symptoms:

  • You are required to isolate if you have symptoms or a positive test.
  • Get clinically evaluated for COVID-19 (Get a test for COVID-19, if indicated).

Unvaccinated or Not-Yet-Fully Vaccinated individuals must:

  • Quarantine for 10 days. This means staying home and not visiting public spaces unless getting tested or seeking healthcare. Maintain at least six feet of distance from others and wear a mask if you have contact with others in your home.
  • Get tested for COVID-19 immediately.
  • Test again 5-7 days after exposure, or if you get symptoms of COVID-19.
  • If you develop symptoms of COVID-19, isolate and contact your local care provider, local urgent care, or local emergency room for guidance.

People who wish to help in contact tracing efforts, please visit the county’s site at LCcountymt.gov under the job sections.