OKEMOS - An Okemos High School senior tested positive for COVID-19 while attending a drive thru graduation ceremony on June 21st.
The individual was not hospitalized and is isolating at home. The Ingham County Health Department is now working to contact trace anyone who had contact with the individual, Ingham County Health Officer Linda Vail said the department is making process in contact tracing.
“This individual was not out of the car for very long so we’re hoping for this to be a low risk exposure but time will tell,” Vail said.
Vail said anyone who stayed in their cars would not need to be contacted because they did not come in contact with the individual.
A drive thru graduation ceremony can be a safe event but that can change when people get out of their cars and don’t wear masks.
“They have to prepare for worst case scenario so preparing for worst case scenario in this case means everybody got out of their car instead of staying in their car, are you prepared for that what are you going to do,” Vail said. “We should anticipate people in behavior and not doing the things that we know are safe to do and rather going oh I’m gonna get out of my car for a bit and go see them.”
While Vail understands that students want to be together but she urges people who get out of their car to wear masks and to socially distance.
There are two parts of contact tracing. It starts with the case investigation which is when the department gets in contact with the person who tested positive for the virus and asking about symptoms. From there, the contact tracing begins and Vail said in all cases, contact tracing has been going well.
“We are already seeing the effects of their contact tracing quickly, putting a ring around the larger outbreak that we know of,” Vail said.
If you come in contact with someone who has COVID-19, the health department will call and alert you. At this time the Caller ID says Unknown Caller to protect the identity of the employees. The Health Department is working with Verizon Wireless to put a caller ID feature on the If you do not answer the call, they will attempt to leave a message but if your voicemail is full they will try again to call you.
The Okemos Public Schools Superintendent and Okemos High School Principal were unavailable for comment on this story.
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