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Kentucky contact tracers overwhelmed by surge in cases

Published: Nov. 18, 2020 at 12:06 PM EST
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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - Kentucky health departments are now telling people who have tested positive for COVID-19 to reach out to people they may have exposed to the virus themselves.

That’s because contact tracers are overwhelmed trying to reach people who have simply tested positive.

“Currently, our workload has doubled and tripled with these higher number of cases,” said Brittany Parker, Deputy Director, Franklin Co. Health Dept.

At the Franklin Co Health Dept., contract tracers are working seven days a week, making phone calls.

Parker says the county is averaging 20 to 25 new COVID-19 cases a day. The department is currently following 150 active cases along with more than 275 additional contacts.

Officials say small gatherings are largely to blame.

To slow the spread, officials hope more people will follow the CDC guidelines.

“I know that everybody is experiencing covid fatigue," Parker said. "However, we’re in the final stretch of the game, we have a vaccine coming soon, so lets all bunker down.”

Health officials say they’re trusting people who have tested positive for the virus to actually reach out to those they may have come in contact with.

Officials are telling people to wait for symptoms to develop, or at least five to seven days after exposure, before getting tested.

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