TOPEKA, Kan. — The Kansas Department of Health will no longer conduct contact outreach and monitoring starting in February 1, 2022.

“As we enter the third year of this pandemic, public health has to begin to adjust the level of response to help alleviate the strain on the Public Health system,” Janet Stanek, acting secretary, said.

KDHE said that contract tracing staff will be reassigned to contact investigations.

The department said county health departments in the state are already slowing down their contact tracing efforts and K-12 schools participating in contact tracing may suspend operations as well.

“The pandemic is far from over, but this step is a move toward managing COVID-19 as an endemic disease,” Stanek said. “The responsibility of protecting yourself and others belongs to all of us.”

A person who tests positive for COVID-19 will now have the responsibility of notifying their close contacts. If the person exposed others at high-risk settings, KDHE or the local health department will contact the setting.

As the omicron variant of the COVID-19 virus continues to spread, KDHE recommends that people get vaccinated and boosted, wear masks, get tested and stay home if exposed or if they are sick.