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

Cases: 414583

Reported Deaths: 5945
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson60842887
Mobile29590538
Madison26466183
Tuscaloosa20537267
Montgomery18562304
Shelby18181112
Baldwin15841177
Lee1212097
Morgan12002112
Etowah11488142
Calhoun10863197
Marshall10048106
Houston8405123
Cullman792294
Limestone785073
Elmore7670101
DeKalb757282
St. Clair7417120
Lauderdale740282
Talladega6036108
Walker5834176
Jackson571937
Colbert522270
Blount521980
Autauga507555
Coffee431456
Dale388278
Franklin362145
Chilton332965
Covington325567
Russell318910
Escambia309842
Dallas297988
Chambers275769
Clarke272933
Tallapoosa2591107
Pike245829
Lawrence239345
Marion238649
Winston222535
Bibb211347
Geneva196331
Marengo196329
Pickens195331
Hale172542
Barbour169636
Butler166958
Fayette164026
Cherokee158330
Henry149219
Monroe143617
Randolph137635
Washington135426
Clay124446
Crenshaw117444
Lamar116819
Cleburne115123
Macon111935
Lowndes107935
Wilcox99921
Bullock97128
Perry95019
Conecuh92820
Sumter89126
Greene75123
Coosa59814
Choctaw50824
Out of AL00
Unassigned00

Tennessee Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 670482

Reported Deaths: 8232
CountyCasesDeaths
Shelby747611088
Davidson69030648
Knox37822389
Hamilton33776322
Rutherford32471281
Unassigned22060125
Williamson20903138
Sumner17850228
Out of TN1566277
Wilson14171152
Montgomery13874145
Sullivan12293207
Washington11674191
Blount11537120
Maury10746120
Bradley1050091
Sevier10243103
Putnam9730131
Madison8949175
Robertson743385
Hamblen6779106
Anderson6623101
Greene6459108
Tipton605663
Gibson5534109
Coffee551381
Dickson524777
Cumberland523571
Bedford520785
Roane507677
Carter5017108
Lawrence500169
McMinn498572
Warren487553
Loudon481549
Dyer466481
Jefferson460975
Monroe442062
Hawkins433367
Franklin399956
Obion393974
Fayette385551
Rhea371755
Lincoln371044
Cocke336655
Weakley336048
Marshall333136
Cheatham328528
Henderson328253
Giles315071
Campbell314639
Hardeman304351
White304342
Carroll300159
Hardin293546
Lauderdale288731
Macon282850
Wayne258219
Henry253957
Overton246942
DeKalb237340
Haywood234644
McNairy231642
Smith228427
Trousdale227814
Marion220031
Scott219731
Hickman218134
Fentress208430
Grainger202134
Claiborne198721
Johnson194830
Morgan183613
Crockett178938
Bledsoe171110
Chester169836
Unicoi162843
Cannon153419
Lake153019
Decatur145124
Grundy137420
Polk137317
Union136121
Sequatchie132518
Humphreys129817
Benton129634
Lewis126020
Meigs110716
Stewart103020
Jackson102520
Perry93224
Houston92522
Clay90626
Moore7858
Pickett66119
Van Buren6397
Hancock3936

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