Health officials working to spread the word about Kentucky’s contact tracing efforts

Published: Jun. 29, 2020 at 4:49 PM EDT
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KENTUCKY (WKYT) - The man in charge of Kentucky’s contact tracing efforts is asking medical professionals to help them get the word out about that task.

Mark Carter, Cabinet for Health and Family Services, spoke Monday to members of the Kentucky Primary Care Association.

He said Kentucky has more than $75 million allocated to the contact tracing initiative, because of the cares act. That’s allowed them to hire hundreds of people to help with that effort, but they need the publics’ help. Those workers notify people who have had contact with people who test positive for COVID-19.

“All it’s really about is trying to protect from the spread of the disease,” Carter said “And the way I like to think about it is it’s a tool that’s available to me to help me keep from infecting my wife, my kids, my grandkids. My friends and my neighbors.”

Those tracers are working with local health departments using a system that now includes more than 40 states. But they need the public’s help. Carter says those calls from public health workers are only effective if the people receiving them are honest and cooperative.

He says as the state reopens, it’s more important than ever, that those tracers are able to do their jobs.

“It does not have to be a binary choice between physical health and a healthy economy. We can have it both,” Carter said.

Carter said they also want people to be aware those tracers will never ask for banking information, social security numbers, or credit card numbers. He said any calls like that should be reported to the attorney general’s office.

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