Health dept. team helps keep families at home

OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) – If COVID-19 required you to quarantine, running errands most likely got a great deal more difficult.

As the pandemic unfolded, the Douglas County Health Department’s contact tracers tracked direct exposures and informed individuals to separate. A few of those households required assistance getting food or other services, which duty fell on contact tracers. In June, the health department’s Stephen Jackson collected a group committed to assisting individuals remain in seclusion.

The health department’s Health Factor Navigation Program wishes to assist keep quarantined individuals in your home by linking them with social services that partner with the department.

“The concept for a navigation program came out of the need to relieve some of the burden from the contact tracers,” Stephen Jackson stated, who’s the manager for health promo at the health department.

Grocery runs, rental support, and psychological health concerns were barely in the call tracer’s job description. When they contact somebody potentially exposed to COVID-19, contact tracers will identify if a household or person is qualified for this type of support.

For those who had problem getting food, the department linked individuals to the non-profit Whispering Roots.

“At the beginning of the pandemic, we were unable to do our normal programming, which is nutrition education, culinary education, agriculture—we had to shut down because we couldn’t go into our schools,” job supervisor Anna Curry stated.

Whispering roots had a van and sufficient individuals to do the job: provide food to houses of individuals in seclusion. Some food is complimentary of expense, thanks to a USDA program.

“[Families are] really getting a well-balanced delivery to hopefully last them the whole two weeks while they’re in quarantine,” Curry stated.

Whispering Roots provided to almost 150 households through the navigation program in 2015. Curry states they’re blowing past that mark in 2021, sending out up to 60 boxes each week—as the health department intends to consist of the infection.

“We’ve been going strong because the numbers have been pretty high ever since,” Jackson stated.

If you’re called by health department contact tracers, they will ask if your household requires food, lease, health care, or other support.

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Jobber Wiki author Frank Long contributed to this report.