OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. (KNWA/KFTA) — Multiple Oklahoma health departments announced Thursday, Jan. 27 they are moving away from universal case investigation and contact tracing for COVID-19 to focus on a more strategic approach of investigating outbreaks and targeted case investigations, according to a press release.

The Oklahoma State Department of Health, the Tulsa County Health Department and the Oklahoma City-County Health Department are among those stepping away from these practices as they implemented the OSDHCI, which allows case investigators and the epidemiologist to prioritize following-up on outbreaks, the release said.

“Tools such as at-home testing kits, updated isolation and quarantine guidance, and the self-serve case investigation portal has provided Oklahomans the opportunity to be the driver of their own personal health and the health of their family and community,” said leaders from all three agencies.

“Empowering Oklahomans with the most up to date recommendations and mitigation strategies has paved the way for autonomy and a more sustained public health system that is not reliant on universal case investigation and contact tracing to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. The community has a greater understanding of public health and the necessity of public health intervention and how to navigate those tools.”

Oklahoma is not the only state implementing these changes, as the release noted five other national public health organizations issued guidance on Tuesday supporting the transition.

The Association of State and Territorial Health Officials (ASTHO) along with several other agencies also said it is appropriate to transition their resources into more effective strategies to lessen the impact of COVID-19 by focusing on the most severe outcomes of virus hospitalizations and deaths.