Graphic by Taylor Rodriguez

By Blake Garman
Staff reporter

What is contact tracing? According to Thomas Langer, health department administrator, from the Cowley County Health Department, “It is the epidemical tracing of the virus.”

In most states, the health department is the only place with the authority to conduct contact tracing. When contact tracing, health departmentsare able to determine where positive COVID-19 people have been in the last one to two weeks. This process is very strenuous and demanding of cooperation.

For example, say I test positive, I will be immediately put in quarantine. Then I will be asked several questions about what I was doing and where I have been. This is done to pinpoint where I became positive and who else could possibly be at risk

Patrick Ross, professor of biology, a well-informed individual on COVID-19 as a whole. “I’ve been keeping myself pretty well informed, I do a lot of reading about some of the original research because it’s kind of interesting and applicable to my own area. I teach genetics and evolution, I know about it on a genetic level,” said Ross.

Ross had a few things he wanted us to know.  “Take it seriously, so unfortunate that it has become politicized. Wearing or not wearing your mask shouldn’t be based off your political leanings, just take care of each-other.”

When talking to Dan Falk, dean of students, about if he believed that we could have a safe and healthy year, “Absolutely, I think the biggest thing is staying smart and mentally prepared. Anything can happen, this time is very stressful for everyone. You have kids coming in from everywhere to our school so contact tracing could become tricky,” said Falk.

Using our resources like contact tracing can make a better environment for everybody. Knowing when you are at risk can resolve being put in situations where you could possibly get sick.

Most importantly, we need to all be aware of everyone’s safety. We need to quit thinking about ourselves and begin helping one another in this pandemic.