Whether COVID-19, Influenza A, or another agent, older adult communities have to be able to contact trace.
Contact tracing is the process that is used to identify, educate, and support an individual who may have had close or high risk contact with someone who has tested positive for an infection or virus. Contact tracing enables the person exposed to a high risk contact to understand their risk, get informed of next steps, and limit further spread.
In a senior living community, contact tracing is an imperative step to ensure our residents, a population that is more vulnerable to infections and viruses, are protected. It also allows the community to take action as quickly as possible. When you are aware of who the high risk contacts in your community are, you are better able to control and mitigate the risk.
Each case or scenario of an infection, including COVID-19 as we have experienced most recently, is unique. Having as much information as quickly as possible makes a difference. Most often, the case viral load is at its highest around symptom onset and 1-2 days prior. As testing sometimes takes 2-3 days, this means an infected individual may have to recall up to 10 days of interactions to identify potential at-risk close contacts. When needed, Local Health Units across Canada will walk through a risk assessment to assist, but within a community setting for our residents, contact tracing falls on the community to complete. Interactions can be hard to track and take hours... or days.
Within a senior living community, the faster we can identify close or high risk contacts, the more impactful our actions are to mitigate risk.
With just one click using the Welbi contact tracing solution, you can instantly identify who has been in close contact with a resident or staff member during a defined period of time. This is a life changer.
Wendy studies English Language and Literature at the University of Ottawa, where she has won numerous awards for her writing.
Katie is a member of Welbi’s Customer Experience team! She has a background in communications and recreation and is passionate about older adults, exercise, coffee and people.
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