CARTHAGE, Mo. — An area county is changing its protocols when it comes to COVID positive residents. They say they have no choice in the matter.

To say the Jasper County Health Department is overrun with COVID positive test results is an understatement according to Administrator Tony Moehr.

He compares this month last year to the new year.

“The highest time in the past was January of last year where we’re having 75 cases a day, as of yesterday we’re having 145 cases a day,” said Moehr.

But trying to track down residents who have tested positive through phone calls, as well as all the people they’ve been in contact with, was taking too much time and employee resources with the number of cases rising so fast.

“We had been making phone calls and doing interviews and contact tracing and all that and then sending out isolation recommendations and quarantine recommendations, we just can’t keep up with that.”

Now residents will get an email with their diagnosis information as well as directing them to a website so they can answer questions on their own.

For someone who has tested COVID positive in Jasper County, this is the 3rd step in the process, you’ll receive this sheet of information by e-mail, and if that’s not possible, you’ll get it through the mail.

“Based on the information they provide us, it will determine what dates they should consider isolation and we will email that to them so they have that for their records or if their employer needs it or school or anyone like that needs it for their records,” added Moehr.

Through this new system, he says residents get the information they need quicker than before and at the same time, takes some of the strain off health department staff, because COVID isn’t the only illness they’re tracking.