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Washtenaw County Health Department staff "exhausted, desperate," from COVID-19 case rise

A healthcare worker process a COVID-19 test at Beaumont.
Beaumont Health

The public health capacity to deal with contact tracing of COVID-19 cases is becoming overwhelmed, according to Susan Ringler-Cerniglia, Communications and Health Promotion Administrator for the Washtenaw County Health Department.

She says her staff is exhausted, after working overtime and weekends for months.

"It almost feels like there's a desperation," she says. "And it's not going away, and it's not going to go away like this."

Ringler-Cerniglia says people need to start paying more attention to public health guidance to keep COVID-19 from spreading and overwhelming hospitals again. That means strictly limiting social gatherings, staying out of crowds, physically distancing, and wearing a mask.

And she says if you know, or are told, that you were in close contact with someone with COVID-19, you must quarantine for 14 days. No shortcuts there.

"You cannot test your way out of it, and if you decide to test, then we recommend waiting at least 5 days to take that test."

But even with a negative test result, she says, finish the rest of the 14 day quarantine. That's because it can take that long for symptoms to develop.