The Kansas health department will be ending it’s COVID-19 contact tracing program at the, effective Feb. 1. According to the department, the decision was made due to an influx in cases and in the hopes of reducing the strain on public health system.
In a news release, KDHE officials said the decision to end the state’s contact outreach and monitoring program, also known as contact tracing, was made due to the large surge in cases, and the fact that the public’s willingness to participate has diminished since the start of the pandemic.
“As we enter the third year of this pandemic, public health has to begin to adjust the level of response to help alleviate the strain on the Public Health system,” said acting KDHE secretary Janet Stanek. “The pandemic is far from over, but this step is a move toward managing COVID-19 as an endemic disease. The responsibility of protecting yourself and others belongs to all of us.”
Department officials said it is now up to the individual to notify their close contacts about potential exposure to COVID-19.
“Additionally, if the individual with COVID-19 exposed others at high-risk settings such as schools, correctional facilities, long-term care facilities, homeless shelters, daycares and churches, KDHE or the local health department will notify the setting,” the department said in the release.