Wisconsin county asks the public to do their own contact tracing due to COVID-19 surge

A western Wisconsin county health department is asking members of the public to move forward with their own contact tracing as they deal with a COVID-19 surge.

In a Friday press release, the Pierce County Public Health Department asks people who test positive to help out with notifying people they've been in recent contact with. According to Pierce County health officials, the recent delta surge has put stress on their resources along with other health departments.

"Local health departments throughout the state of Wisconsin are overwhelmed by the number of positive cases and have to prioritize which disease prevention activities to continue," a statement from the health department reads.

"Pierce County will prioritize reaching out to cases who are under the age of 18, households with children, and those that work or live in long-term care or other congregate settings. We will try our best to reach out to others within 24 hours. If we can’t, we’ll send a letter to the address listed by their healthcare provider with instructions for isolation, quarantine of household members, and contacting their close contacts," added Pierce County Public Health spokesperson Brittany Mora.

The health department says the department has gone from 34 reported cases during the week of August 21 to 121 new cases in the past week along. Among the recent surge of cases include students at Pierce County schools who've tested positive for COVID-19.

Along with urging everyone to get tested, Pierce County also passed along these resources for what to do after testing positive:

Next steps after testing positive 
A tool for confidential close contact notification 
Next steps after close contact with someone who tested positive
Next steps for businesses after identifying someone who tested positive