AMARILLO, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) — The Amarillo Public Health Department reported more than 600 COVID-19 recoveries on Tuesday but those recoveries are not necessarily easy to track down.
The reason there were so many recoveries Tuesday is likely a result of mass testing, MyHighPlains.com learned during the City of Amarillo’s COVID-19 briefing on Wednesday.
Casie Stoughton, the director of public health, said the vast majority of these recoveries include those with no contact information for contact tracing.
Stoughton said those include cases from the Texas Department of Criminal Justice, mass testing events, and other community testing.
When the public health department does not have contact information for those who have tested positive for COVID-19, they must isolate for 10 days and be symptom-free for 72 hours to be considered recovered.
According to Stoughton, they make several attempts to contact people—calling, mailing letters and even reaching out to emergency contacts.
“Those people that we are not able to make contact with, including those people who are positive at TCDJ, we provided four weeks until considering them recovered, as we were not notified of their death,” Stoughton said. “So we did consider them recovered. Those four weeks allowed for a generous recovery time.”
Stoughton also said when there is no follow-up with people who have previously tested positive, they are unable to investigate and do contact tracing.
There are two strategies for tracking recoveries—testing, and time.
Stoughton said usually, it does not come down to re-testing as testing is not required to say someone is recovered.
For more information from the CDC about when it is okay to end self-isolation after having or likely having COVID-19, click here.
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