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The original item was published from 5/11/2020 5:08:30 PM to 5/19/2020 12:00:01 AM.

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Posted on: May 11, 2020

[ARCHIVED] Local COVID-19 Update, May 11, 2020

What is Contact Tracing?

What is Contact Tracing? 

Contact tracing is an important part of the process of supporting patients with COVID-19 and warning people of possible exposure in order to limit the spread of the virus.

In contact tracing, public health staff work with a patient confirmed to have COVID-19 to help them recall everyone with whom they have had close contact during the timeframe while they may have been infectious.  Public health staff then notify these exposed individuals (contacts) of their potential exposure as quickly and sensitively as possible.

To protect patient privacy, contacts are only informed that they may have been exposed to a patient with COVID-19. They are not told the identity of the patient who may have exposed them.

Contacts are provided with education, information, and support to understand their risk, what they should do to separate themselves from others who are not exposed, monitor themselves for illness, and the possibility that they could spread the infection to others, even if they themselves do not feel ill.

Contacts are encouraged to stay home and maintain social distance from others (at least 6 feet) until 14 days after their last exposure, in case they also become ill. They should monitor themselves by checking their temperature twice daily and watching for cough or shortness of breath. Contacts who develop symptoms should promptly isolate themselves and notify public health staff. They should be promptly evaluated for infection and for the need for medical care.

The Dubuque County Board of Health voted last Friday to shift the responsibility of contact tracing for positive COVID-19 cases in Dubuque County from the Dubuque Visiting Nurses Association to the Iowa Department of Public Health, effective Monday, May 11. As additional positive COVID-19 cases are identified in Dubuque County, more county residents may be contacted by the IDPH as part of this contact tracing.  

414 New Cases and 6 Deaths in Iowa, 6 More Cases in Dubuque County 

The Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH) was notified of 414 additional positive cases of COVID-19 in Iowa, including six additional cases in Dubuque County.  Iowa now has a total of 12,373 positive cases and Dubuque County has 197.   

  • 6 additional deaths were reported today for Iowa, bringing the state total to 271.
  • As of May 9, 18 Dubuque County residents are currently hospitalized due to COVID-19.  Statewide, 414 Iowans are hospitalized and 5,249 Iowans are recovering or have recovered.
  • Statewide, 77,792 Iowans have been tested for a 15.9% positive testing rate. 

For up-to-date information on COVID-19, including an interactive map with county, regional, and long-term care outbreak information, visit For COVID-19 information specific to Dubuque County, visit   

Dubuque County COVID-19 Video Update 

Today’s video update from the Dubuque County Public Health Incident Management Team includes a review of new cases and deaths since Friday, an explanation of contact tracing, and update on last week’s targeted testing program, and the potential of some restrictions expiring on Friday. Watch the video at 

Stay Home, Stay Safe, and Take the TestIowa Assessment at  

Media Contact

Randy Gehl, Public Information Officer
Email Randy Gehl

This message is from the Dubuque County Public Health Incident Management Team, which includes staff from the from the Dubuque County Health Department, City of Dubuque Health Department, Dubuque County Emergency Management Agency, and the Dubuque Visiting Nurse Association.

Additional Info on COVID-19
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