Contact tracers overwhelmed by surge in COVID-19 cases; health dept. asking for help



LEXINGTON, Ky. (WDKY) – As cases surge, it’s becoming more difficult for contact tracers to track the spread of the virus. And that has health departments changing their process. Today, the Lexington-Fayette County Public Health Department announced people who test positive for COVID-19 would be responsible for reaching out to their contacts.

“We are trying everything we can to stay up on this. To help people be as safe and protected as possible,” Lexington-Fayette County Public Health Department spokesperson Kevin Hall said.

Hall says they’re seeing 200 plus cases of COVID-19 daily. And now they’re asking for your help.

“We need to streamline the process of contact tracing and disease investigation. We need to be able to reach people as fast as possible,” Hall said.

In order to do this, Hall is asking anyone who tests positive to do the contact tracing themselves.

“Help us out in this. There’s more to slow the spread than just wearing your mask and being physically distant,” Hall said.

While Kentucky Department of Public Health Commissioner Dr. Steven Stack said statewide they’ve hired more than 900 people to help with contact tracing, Hall says the health department is overwhelmed with the rising cases.

“Right now, there may be a delay for Lexington residents in getting contacted by the health department if they’ve tested positive. So the first thing you can do is if you test positive, go ahead and start isolating immediately,” Hall said.

Then, call your family and friends and let them know they’ll need to quarantine and get tested themselves.

The Lexington-Fayette County Public Health Department has a self-quarantine guide and steps on what to do if you test positive on its website.

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