Learning Through the Lens: COVID-19 Awareness

Contract tracing plays a key role during the pandemic


Loriann Stanislawski is a certified public health educator for the State of Wisconsin

Whitney Walmer , Contributing Writer

Contact tracing is key to preventing the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic that affects thousands of people around the world today.

Loriann Stanislawski is a public health educator with the Department of Health Services for the State of Wisconsin. Through her work as a Training and Communications Coordinator in the Sexually Transmitted Disease Control Section in Wisconsin, she has since remained tapped to be part of the COVID-19 task force.

“Contact tracing is looking for the people who have been exposed, then making sure that they are taken care of and that they are educated about their infections,” Stanislawski said.

It is crucial to ask the right questions to help with prevention. Important questions likely to be asked are:

When was someone infected?

When did they start the infection?

When do their symptoms begin?

Were there symptoms two days before that where someone could have exposed other people to it and not know it?

With technology being as prominent as it is in today’s society, contact tracing is an easier way to track individuals and treat them efficiently.

“Three key factors to slow down the curve are social distancing, knowing the precautions, and contact tracing,” says Stanislwski.

Stanislawski met with the Communications 222 class from HACC University via Zoom on Tuesday, March 24, due to the precautions to discuss her current role, regulations, and preparedness during the pandemic. The audience seemed to tentatively listen and interact efficiently without visible difficulty meeting through a webcam.

Cole Dubble, a sophomore studying Communications, who has been studying remotely due to college being closed, says his impression of the pandemic has changed.

“I definitely feel I was educated on how a Public Health Educator works and how critical it is to educate someone who has been tested positive, and someone who has been in contact with someone who has tested positive,” said Dubble.

When testing positive, social distancing is essential, as well as seeking medical attention. Knowing there is no current cure, Stanislawski had stated if someone is experiencing symptoms, get tested, and go to a primary care physician to seek further treatment. But it is by staying indoors and away from others that could help mitigate an increase in cases.

Benjamin Reese, a sophomore communications student who had attended the speech via Zoom, described his job, working in a grocery store and how practices are changing.

“I work in a deli, and when we are done to hand-to-hand distribution to customers. We are precutting and bagging them,” he said. “But I don’t see that mitigating the issue.”

Grocery stores have advised their customers to wash their hands, use hand sanitizers, and practice social distancing to prevent the spread of germs.

Another student working during this time is Ameerah Lawal, a freshman communications major; she works at a gas station, an essential establishment. With it being essential, people are going into her work.

HACC closed the campus on March 23, moving instruction to a small format out of an abundance of caution. To seek more information about prevention and preparedness during the pandemic, check the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website www.CDC.gov. For local information, visit the Pennsylvania Department of Health website, www.health.pa.gov.