FROM: Mary Schell, PIO, Converse County Emergency Management Agency
DATE Wednesday, September 9th, 2020. 19:00 hours
UPDATE: CLUSTER NOTIFICATION
On Wednesday, September 9th, 2020 the Converse County Public Health Department, in conjunction with Converse County Emergency Management received notification of five (5) lab confirmed coronavirus cases , one(1) probable case and 18 additional people quarantined in Converse County that have been tied to a Douglas business, The Waterhole. These cases are considered to be a cluster. An outbreak is deemed a cluster when a contact investigation is completed and a single source for multiple cases is determined.
When a positive case is identified, Public Health works to begin contact tracing. This contact tracing begins with an interview with the confirmed case who identifies household contacts and other contacts who they had contact with over their identified contagious period. When non-household contacts are identified, Public Health contact tracing team works to contact these individuals directly.
Confirmed contacts are required to quarantine 14 days from the last exposure or contact with the positive case. Due to the increase in testing, these contacts will be able to receive testing after they meet the minimum timeline for incubation. However, a negative test result for these confirmed contacts does not change the quarantine length. Since the incubation period for COVID-19 is 14 days, and a negative test will not eliminate the possibility of developing the illness within that period which is why a full 14-day quarantine is still required.
Only confirmed contacts have to quarantine. Household members of the confirmed contact are not required to do so. However, if the confirmed contact develops symptoms or tests positive, the procedure starts over for their contacts.
Converse County Public Health has been diligently working on contact tracing for the individual(s) that were provided. There is possibility that not all individuals or possible exposures have been contacted.
Anyone that was at The Waterhole bar from September 1st 2020 on, and has symptoms of covid including cough, fever, shortness of breath, runny nose, sore throat, chills, body aches, headaches, diarrhea, or change to their sense of taste or smell should be tested.
Those experiencing symptoms should contact the COVID-19 Hotline managed by Memorial Hospital of Converse County at (307) 358-7399. If it is determined they need to be tested, they will be registered, and directed to the appropriate testing location. Once there they will need to simply follow the instructions at those locations to complete their testing. The Medical Office Building tests symptomatic cases 7:00 am to 6:30 pm Monday through Friday, and 9:00 am to 1:00 pm on Saturdays. Outside of these hours, patients will be directed to Memorial Hospital’s Emergency Department.