NDDoH changes made to COVID-19 investigations

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With the recent surge in COVID-19 cases occurring in North Dakota, the North Dakota Department of Health (NDDoH) has changed protocols for case investigations in the state.

“The rapid emergence of the Omicron variant and rising cases have resulted in refocusing our priorities for case work. As a result, not all people with recent diagnosis will be contacted by a case worker for an interview,” said NDDoH Disease Control and Forensic Pathology Section Chief, Kirby Kruger.

Case workers will continue to investigate and/or assist with investigations for

  • K-12 students
  • Higher education students
  • People over the age of 55
  • Health care facilities, long term care, and congregate settings

People who test positive for or are diagnosed with COVID-19 should follow the guidance for care from their health care provider. If you have health conditions that may put you at increased risk for a severe COVID-19 illness, contact your health care provider as soon as possible.

People who test positive or have been recently diagnosed for COVID-19 are recommended to self-isolate to avoid spreading the infection to others. Whether or not you are contacted by a case worker, all people with COVID-19 are recommended to follow these basic isolation guidelines.

  • Your isolation period starts from the first day you develop symptoms or from the day you were tested if you don’t have symptoms; this is considered day zero.
  • Stay home for a minimum of five days
  • If at the end of day five, you have been fever-free for 24 hours (without using fever reducing medication) and your symptoms are gone or are improving, you can leave your home. Wearing a well-fitting mask when around others, even at home, is recommended through day 10.
  • If on day five, you have a fever or symptoms have not improved or have worsened, continue to isolate through day 10. If before day 10, your symptoms improve and you have been fever-free for 24 hours, you can leave the house at that time. Wearing a well-fitting mask when around others, even at home, is recommended through day 10.
  • If you tested positive when you did not have symptoms but later developed symptoms, you should calculate our isolation period based on the date of symptom onset and this day would be your new day zero.
  • Individuals who work in certain settings such as health care and congregate living may have additional work restrictions and should follow guidance from your occupational health representative for when you can return to work.
  • To help you calculate your isolation period the NDDoH has an isolation period calculator online at www.health.nd.gov/covidcalculator.
  • More guidance for isolation can be found here.
  • Cases should continue to inform close contacts of their exposure. Information for close contacts can be found here.

People who have recently been diagnosed and who need further assistance can call the COVID-19 Hotline at 1-866-207-2880.

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