Community health center making calls to stop the spread of COVID-19

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Lancaster, Pa (WHTM) – Inside the Lancaster Health Center, calls are being made to try and stop the spread of the coronavirus.

The community health center is taking part in contact tracing, which involves calling those who have been in contact with someone who tested positive for COVID-19.

“Making those calls, contact tracing, is part of linking folks to care who otherwise would go without care,” Alisa Jones, President and CEO of Lancaster Health Center, said.

Earlier this week Lancaster announced they would soon start using contact tracing.

Jones said Lancaster Health Center started making the calls after their first patient was diagnosed with COVID-19 in late March.

Jones said since that time they’ve reached out to more than 500 families.

“In this time when the way healthcare is being delivered is changed so dramatically we have felt that contact tracing is a good use of our nurses time and our clinical staffs time because it’s going to prevent people from getting sick,” Jones added.

Lancaster Health Center typically serves those below the poverty line and some without insurance.

Jones said she believes the calls can be a form of care for many who would typically never see a doctor.

“By giving them this critical information and letting them know Lancaster Health Center is a place they can come for care we believe that we are helping to prevent folks from using the emergency room,” Jones said.

Jones said while they check on symptoms and tell people to self isolate their staff can also connect people to social services if they need it.

“We have had folks who are really struggling with basic needs such as food or paying rent, or utility bills,” Jones said. “We know so much more is connected to someone’s health”.

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