February 7, 2022

Changes Coming for COVID-19 Contact Tracing and Investigation

The Virginia Beach Department of Public Health (VBDPH) is updating the approach used for contact tracing and investigation for positive COVID-19 tests.

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All state health departments are updating this approach as directed by the Virginia Department of Health (VDH). The update is the result of COVID-19 changes over the past three years. This includes new tools like vaccines and medications and the patterns of new strains like the omicron variant.

The omicron variant is now the most common variant of the COVID-19 virus. It spreads faster and easier. There are many people who do not show symptoms of the virus or have mild cases. There are also more testing options than there were at the beginning of the pandemic. This includes at-home tests which means that not every case is known to public health. The focus will now be on investigating cases among people who are at a higher risk of serious illness or hospitalization, and those who are part of community groups in places like schools or nursing homes.

It is important for everyone to help reduce the spread of the virus and protect our loved ones who are most vulnerable. People who test positive should follow the five-day isolation guidance. They should also notify anyone they have been in close contact with. Downloading COVIDWISE, (the Virginia exposure notification app) will allow anonymous sharing of your test results to people you may have exposed. COVIDWISE is free and designed to completely protect your privacy.

For more information on the COVIDWISE app visit: vdh.virginia.gov/covidwise

You should get vaccinated and boosted if you are eligible. This remains the best way to reduce virus transmission. It is also important to continue to wear masks in public spaces and use social distancing. These remain important strategies to keep us healthy.

Contact Information

Virginia Beach Department of Public Health

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