September 30, 2022


Devoted to Quality Health

Health department nixes COVID-19 contact tracing

Following Michigan Department of Health and Human Services’ recent announcement that they are discontinuing universal individual-level contact tracing, District Health Department No. 10 announced Tuesday, Jan. 18, that they will also discontinue this process. It is now up to each individual who test’s positive for COVID-19 to notify any and all potential close contacts.  

“The effort our staff has put in to perform contact tracing over the past two years has been enormous,” said Kevin Hughes, health officer for DHD No. 10. “It is now time to empower the residents of our communities to take on this role and notify anyone they may have had close contact with while contagious.”

DHD No. 10 will now focus on targeted identification, response and mitigation of COVID-19 clusters and outbreaks, especially for vulnerable populations and those associated with settings where persons congregate like long term care facilities, group homes, schools, shelters, and dormitories. This redirection of public health resources to a focus on outbreak venues and clusters will maximize public health outcomes in an environment of strained and limited staffing capacity.

DHD No. 10 will, however, continue sending secure text notifications via TigerConnect to individuals who test positive for COVID-19 within its 10-county jurisdiction so that individuals can begin the process of notifying their close contacts. Individuals will receive a secure text message on their cell phone that reads as follows:

“This is District Health Department No. 10. We are following up regarding your recent COVID-19 test. If you are positive for COVID-19, regardless of vaccination status, stay home for five days. If you have no symptoms or your symptoms are resolving and you are fever free after five days, you can leave your house. Continue to follow strict mask wearing around others for an additional five days.”

The text message will then proceed to provide instructions for completing an online survey to help case investigators learn about where an individual may have contracted COVID-19. The text also has helpful links to DHD No. 10’s website to learn more about quarantine and isolation guidelines as well as the COVID-19 vaccines/boosters. The text also provides a link where the individual can notify their close contacts anonymously,

“We fully understand that phishing scams are a real thing and some people may not feel comfortable responding to a text message,” said Jeannine Taylor, DHD No. 10’s public information officer. “If you feel uneasy, please email us at or give us a call 231-305-8675 to help confirm the authenticity of this message.”

For those needing a COVID-19 test, DHD No. 10 is hosting testing clinics at various locations throughout their jurisdiction. Find a testing site near you at You do not need to be a resident to get tested at any of these clinics. COVID-19 testing also takes place at most pharmacies, urgent cares, and your primary health care provider’s office.

DHD No. 10 does not supply COVID-19 at-home tests, however, test kits are available at most pharmacies. Be sure to call your pharmacy ahead of time, as demand is high. If you have a positive COVID-19 at-home test kit, please report it at

Employers who would like to report a positive test result from your organization, may do so at

For questions on COVID-19, call us at 231-305-8675, or email us at

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