Contact tracing is a key strategy to contain the spread of any communicable disease. Up until now, Franklin County Public Health (FCPH) has conducted all components of contact tracing including the case interview as well as directly notifying close contacts of those individuals who are positive for COVID-19. Unfortunately, the number of new COVID-19 cases continues to rise at an alarming rate in Franklin County. Like many local health departments across the state, the surge of cases is straining the capacity of FCPH to timely conduct all aspects of contact tracing. Our public health investigators, epidemiologists, and public health nurses are working tirelessly, seven days a week to keep up. However, the rate of increase of new cases has caused us to temporarily reevaluate how we will be conducting contact tracing for the next several weeks.

In alignment with state guidance, to best use our available resources and most effectively minimize the community spread of COVID-19, FCPH will temporarily focus exclusively on conducting the first part of contact tracing: interviews with  cases (or guardians as appropriate) of COVID-19. As FCPH completes those interviews, we will provide tools and guidance for them to identify and notify their close contacts.  Additionally, FCPH will be providing guidance and tools to all sectors, including employers, schools and daycare centers to assist with identification of close contacts, which will include instruction to exclude close contacts for 14 days and allow return to work without quarantine letters from FCPH. 

I Feel Sick

  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Muscle pain
  • Sore throat
  • New loss of taste or smell

Separate yourself from other people as much as possible, stay in a specific room and away from other people and pets in your home. If possible, you should use a separate bathroom. If you need to be around other people or animals in or outside of the home, wear a mask and try to maintain a 6-foot distance as much as possible.

If you do have COVID-19, most people have a mild illness and can recover at home without medical care. It is important that you stay home for 10 days after symptoms appear AND until it has been 24 hours since you have had a fever (without the use of fever-reducing medications).

Get rest and stay hydrated. Take over-the-counter medicines, such as acetaminophen, to help you feel better.

  • Public transportation, ridesharing, or taxis
  • Do not go to work or school

Call your doctor to see if you should get tested or go to one of the many testing sites available around the state.

Be sure to stay in touch with your doctor. Call before you get medical care. If you have trouble breathing or have severe symptoms, call 911.

I Tested Positive

If you tested positive for COVID-19, you should not wait to hear from the health department. Immediately follow the guidance as described below. Stay home except to get medical care
  • Monitor your symptoms. If you have an emergency warning sign (including trouble breathing), seek emergency medical care immediately
  • Stay in a separate room from other household members, if possible
  • Use a separate bathroom, if possible
  • Avoid contact with other members of the household and pets
  • Don’t share personal household items, like cups, towels, and utensils
  • Wear a mask when around other people, if you are able to

Identify and Notify Your Close Contacts

Tell your close contacts that they may have been exposed to COVID-19. An infected person can spread COVID-19 starting 48 hours (or 2 days) before the person has any symptoms or tests positive. By letting your close contacts know they may have been exposed to COVID-19, you are helping to protect everyone. You can contact them by using

More information is available on the CDC’s website on the steps to take to prevent the spread of COVID-19 if you are sick

I Am A Close Contact

Residents of Columbus and Franklin County that have been identified as a contact to an individual diagnosed with COVID-19 must quarantine for 14 days from the date of last contact. Individuals in quarantine should stay home, separate from others, monitor their health, and follow all instructions from their local health department.

More Resources



Sick or Had Contact with Someone with COVID-19   

Care for Someone Who is Sick