State Department of Health says contact tracing is a 'challenge' but doable

The 150 contact tracers are working to contact people who are positive with the virus to start the tracing process within 24 hours of them receiving their results.

Posted: Jul 7, 2020 8:17 PM
Updated: Jul 7, 2020 10:09 PM

With another day of record setting hospitalizations, WAAY 31 worked to learn what the Alabama Department of Public Health is doing to keep up contact tracing.

A professor in Texas said with the rising cases of coronavirus in the United States, it's nearly impossible for contact tracing to be done.

Tuesday, Dr. Karen Landers with the Alabama Department of Public Health said it has committed to tracing who positive coronavirus patients contacted about two days before their symptoms started.

"In Alabama throughout this entire investigation of this pandemic, we have continued to do our case investigation and contact tracing and we are committed to that," she said.

The state is currently averaging about 1,000 new cases a day in the past week, which Landers said isn't making the process any easier.

"It is a challenge and I will not say it's been challenging for the Alabama Department of Public Health, but we have been doing contact tracing seven days a week since this pandemic occurred," Landers said.

Landers said the department currently has about 150 contact tracers, and with caseloads rising, so is the amount of work for tracers.

They've worked weekends, and holidays since the first cases were identified in Alabama. Landers also explained the health department's working to hire more contact tracers during the next couple of weeks to hopefully alleviate some of the challenge. She said if you test positive for the virus, they hope to contact you within a day but the tracing might take a little longer to complete.

"Our case investigation goal is 24 hours and certainly we would like to get the contacts from that case investigation and get that contact tracing done within 48 to 72 hours," she said.

Landers said a contact tracing app will be launched in the University of Alabama system this fall and later could be rolled out to the public.

Until then, all tracing will be with phone calls. The app will identify if someone came into close contact with someone for an extended period of time.However, once launched, users will have to opt-in on their cell phone.

Landers said no name has been chosen for the app yet.

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Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 101496

Reported Deaths: 1821
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Jefferson13463261
Mobile10671216
Montgomery6955153
Madison551035
Tuscaloosa432780
Unassigned398568
Baldwin371029
Shelby336137
Marshall319938
Lee272447
Morgan242520
Etowah219034
DeKalb185214
Calhoun182819
Elmore176739
Walker154865
Houston145013
Russell13912
Limestone137813
St. Clair137520
Dallas134725
Franklin130822
Cullman123812
Colbert122518
Lauderdale120320
Autauga118822
Escambia109417
Jackson10724
Talladega106914
Tallapoosa87679
Dale85029
Chambers84838
Chilton8279
Blount8255
Clarke82110
Coffee7796
Butler77336
Covington74621
Pike7167
Marion58726
Barbour5816
Lowndes57524
Marengo56817
Bullock49211
Hale48826
Winston45711
Bibb4535
Washington44913
Perry4464
Wilcox43610
Monroe4246
Pickens41110
Randolph40311
Conecuh39410
Sumter36618
Lawrence3563
Macon34114
Crenshaw3318
Choctaw28912
Cherokee2798
Clay2775
Geneva2652
Henry2643
Greene25311
Lamar2302
Fayette2235
Cleburne1291
Coosa1053
Out of AL00

Tennessee Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 126393

Reported Deaths: 1289
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Shelby23785315
Davidson21044221
Rutherford671956
Hamilton640855
Knox485240
Williamson365626
Sumner350173
Unassigned31243
Out of TN290418
Wilson237423
Montgomery201514
Bradley201315
Sevier19169
Putnam184018
Robertson158720
Trousdale15836
Hamblen142515
Washington13522
Blount133315
Maury12998
Madison122221
Tipton121710
Sullivan107515
Hardeman96818
Bedford94011
Macon87013
Lake7960
Loudon7743
Gibson7498
Dickson7183
Fayette7188
Bledsoe7172
Anderson7116
Dyer6798
Henderson6262
Cheatham6079
Obion5984
Jefferson5964
Lawrence5937
Coffee5733
McMinn56720
Carter5646
Rhea5472
Warren5454
Greene5249
Lauderdale5239
Haywood5227
Weakley5034
Hawkins50010
Roane4962
Hardin4868
Cocke4855
Cumberland4836
Smith4614
Monroe4589
McNairy3976
Giles39113
DeKalb3691
Franklin3434
Carroll3415
Lincoln3201
Marshall3104
White3105
Johnson3070
Henry3030
Claiborne2810
Crockett2775
Hickman2760
Campbell2571
Chester2302
Marion2305
Wayne2302
Overton2211
Decatur2183
Polk2134
Grainger2060
Unicoi1750
Union1650
Benton1611
Cannon1570
Humphreys1313
Jackson1311
Morgan1301
Scott1242
Grundy1222
Sequatchie1131
Meigs1090
Fentress980
Clay830
Perry830
Hancock822
Stewart790
Lewis761
Moore640
Houston620
Pickett401
Van Buren370

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