Pender County Health Department and NCDHHS Launch Testing and Contact Tracing Resources to Help Slow the Spread of COVID-19 in Pender County
RALEIGH — Today, Pender County Health and Human Services (PCHHS) and the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS) are launching new initiatives to expand COVID-19 testing and contact tracing across the state and help Pender County families protect themselves and their neighbors.
“Testing and tracing are core public health measures and key components of North Carolina’s strategy to responsibly ease restrictions, while continuing to slow the spread of the virus,” Carolyn Moser, Pender County Health and Human Services director said.
People in Pender County can now access new online tools to determine if they should consider being tested for COVID-19 and find a nearby testing place. The tool will also help individuals monitor their symptoms if they have tested positive for or been exposed to COVID-19. In addition, NCDHHS launched a new platform to integrate contact tracing efforts across the state. Pender County Health Department trained on the software and is using it in its ongoing contact tracing work.
“The Pender County Health Department employs professionally trained communicable disease nurses who conduct thorough contact tracing,” said Moser. “The new platform is another tool in the hands of our professionals.”
“These new COVID-19 testing tools and resources help North Carolinians have the support and information they need to take care of themselves and their loved ones,” said NCDHHS Secretary Mandy Cohen, M.D. “When more people get tested, and we all work alongside the COVID-19 Community Team to do our part with contact tracing, we can protect our loved ones and slow the spread of the virus.”
New Online Tools to Increase Access to Testing
Having more than tripled the amount of testing completed just a month ago, North Carolina continues to ramp up testing. The new online tools are intended to help people know if they may need a test, how to get a test, and monitor their own symptoms if advised to do so by a contact tracer. These tools include:
• Check My Symptoms (www.ncdhhs.gov/symptoms), a public website that allows people to enter their symptoms to determine if they should consider getting tested for COVID-19. If a test is recommended, they will receive a link to a list of nearby testing sites via email or text.
• Find My Testing Place (www.ncdhhs.gov/TestingPlace), a public website that allows people to enter their county or ZIP code and access a list of nearby testing site locations online.
• COVID-19 Community Team Outreach (CCTO) Tool is a password-protected online software program that helps people track their own symptoms if they have been advised to do so. It is also a platform that helps streamline and integrate contact tracing work across the state.
Through contact tracing, the nurses reach out to people who may have recently come into close contact with someone who tests positive for COVID-19 and connects them with the information and support needed to protect themselves and their loved ones.
Continued Prevention Measures
All North Carolinians should continue practicing their 3 Ws when they leave home: Wear. Wait. Wash.
• Wear a cloth face covering if you will be with other people.
• Wait 6 feet apart. Avoid close contact.
• Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use hand sanitizer.
“If we all do our part, we can protect our family and neighbors and get back to enjoying things like family gatherings, pastimes, and community events outside of our homes,” said NCDHHS Secretary Mandy Cohen, M.D. “By working together, we will slow the spread of this virus.”
For more information on testing and contact tracing, please see contact the Pender County Health Department at 910-259-1230.
NCDHHS has provided the Frequently Asked Questions about Testing (covid19.ncdhhs.gov/Testing) and Frequently Asked Questions about Contact Tracing (covid19.ncdhhs.gov/ContactTracing). For the latest information on COVID-19, visit nc.gov/covid19. For more data and information about North Carolina’s testing strategy, visit the COVID-19 North Carolina Dashboard: https://covid19.ncdhhs.gov/dashboard.