Wolf Administration’s COVID-19 contact tracing “continues to expand” as coronavirus cases follow suit

Regional News

HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) — An update on the state’s COVID-19 testing and contact tracing efforts was presented Tuesday, including the introduction of a new digital tool to aid in case investigations and additional testing sites at Rite-Aid locations.

The Wolf Administration Director of Testing and Contact Tracing, Michael Huff, and Special Assistant on Contact Tracing for the Department of Health, Lindsey Mauldin, shared details on how the state’s mitigation and contact tracing efforts have been functioning.

“Testing capacity for COVID-19 in Pennsylvania continues to expand,” Huff said. “The county and municipal health departments, Federally Qualified Health Centers, faith-based organizations, the Department of Health contract with AMI, and most recently, 19 additional Rite Aid locations, all are providing testing across Pennsylvania to help contain the spread of COVID-19. To date over 7.4 Million test results have been received in Pennsylvania.”

Lindsey Mauldin discussed the new digital case investigation tool, developed to help expedite this critical start to the contact tracing process.

The Department of Health unveiled the tool Monday, named the Connect & Protect Form. Pennsylvanians aged 19 through 64 who reside in a county without its own county or municipal health department will still receive a call from a public health professional, but now will be asked to provide their email address to receive the Connect & Protect Form to complete as soon as possible.

The tool enables public health professionals to reach out to more Pennsylvanians cutting down the time it would typically take to complete a case investigation.

Governor Tom Wolf and Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine announced new mitigation efforts early in December. It’s still unknown if those mitigations will help curb the spread of COVID-19 after seeing a major spike in new cases in the last few weeks.

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