When someone in the state tests positive for COVID-19, they will likely receive a call from a Department of Health contact tracer within a few days. A state epidemiologist advised on Wednesday, a person should not wait for the call from officials and have their own action plan.
The health department has a check list for people who test positive for the coronavirus. There’s a section that says to make a list of everyone you had close contact with while you are sick including two days before taking the COVID-19 test.
Health experts such as Hawaii Medical Services Association president and CEO Dr. Mark Mugiishi, says individuals keeping a log of their close contacts everyday can be helpful.
The state’s definition of a close contact is anyone within six-feet of an infected person for at least 15 minutes, starting two days before the person began feeling sick. Mugiishi believes a detailed personal log of close contacts can benefit beyond an individual.
“What we want to do in convince many people in the population as possible being cooperative with contact tracing and being responsible with it is a way we can manage this disease across our whole state, not only for ourselves but for our whole state here, including our loved ones and our friends,” Mugiishi said.
Mugiishi says keeping a detailed log can be a lot of work, he recommends using a mobile app to help you track your interactions.
“You don’t have to worry about yourself doing a lot of extra work, it’s just kind of happening seamlessly,” Mugiishi said.
Sometimes, people hesitate sharing details about their lives because of privacy concerns. But Mugiishi says getting the information out is a high priority. He says the public should learn from HMSA’s experience when about 40 employees at the Keeaumoku office were diagnosed with COVID-19.
“We had to work with our own employees to get over the concept we’re going to punish them or somehow think less of them based on their behaviors and just get them to understand that we’re just trying to create a safe environment for everyone for all the employees,” Mugiishi said.
Mugiishi says to think of the self-tracking process like a community project.
“Something we’re all doing to make it safer for all of us to live in this community. It’s not trying to invade privacy but making Hawaii a safer place for all of us,” he said.
The Department of Health reports if you become infected, take your list of close contacts and then let them know about possible exposure. They don’t have to wait for a call from officials. To be pro-active, those close contacts should then contact their doctor for advice, that could include self-quarantine, testing and isolation.
Click here to download the DOH recommendations if you have tested positive for COVID-19 listed below: