JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (KMIZ)
The Cole County Health Department said in a Thursday morning news release it restructured how the department handles contact tracing. The new process instructs residents who have tested positive, to be their own contact tracers.
Department officials met with city and county leaders going over the changes to COVID-19 reporting.
Yuo can watch the full meeting in the media player below.
Previously, health department staff reached out to people who may have been exposed to COVID-19. Now, that responsibility is in the hands of Cole County residents.
The department said this was done in an effort to cut down on wait time and cut down on residents who may be unknowingly transmitting the virus.
Health officials said as of Friday, anyone who gets tested in the county will receive a packet of information related to COVID-19.
The release included the number of coronavirus cases will be shown on the health department's website, however, starting next week the department will no longer report active cases.
The county has seen COVID-19 case spikes in recent weeks.
Presiding Cole County Commissioner Sam Bushman said there is always going to be those who don't comply.
He thinks that overall the new plan will save the health department valuable time.
The Cole County Commission and Jefferson City Mayor Carrie Tergin put out a joint release asking residents for help.
The release asks residents to stay at home if they are sick, follow COVID-19 mitigation efforts like social distancing, wearing a mask and avoid large gatherings.
"Together we can slow the spread of [of COVID-19], but we need everyone to do their part. Protect yourself, your family and others by following these guidelines," the officials said in the release.
The county commission approved a purchase this week to send out coronavirus care packages to all county residents.
The health department will still be involved with contact tracing in the county but focus its efforts on schools.