SEVERE WX : Tornado Watch View Alerts

What coronavirus contact tracing looks like in Alabama

ADPH said they've used contact tracing for decades and have no plans to use technology with it in the future.

Posted: Apr 15, 2020 4:21 PM
Updated: Apr 15, 2020 10:08 PM

All week we are looking at what the new normal may look like when Alabama is expected to re-open on may first. One of the biggest fights against coronavirus is contact tracing.

The state told WAAY31 it's contact tracing standard is summed up like this; if you test positive an ADPH employee will call and interview you to find out everyone you've come in contact with then contact that person and isolate them, if needed.

Dr. Karen Landers with the Alabama Department of Public Health, said their contact tracing is getting a lot of attention but it’s been around for a while.

"This is not something new and part of contact tracing is basically to identify the person that's been infected and then also the person that's been in close contact with that person," said Landers.

Landers said contact tracing works because it connects the dots to isolate the right people. Public health employees are doing interviews over the phone and tracing the outbreak, which takes time and people power. ADPH's Doctor Scott Harris said, you should expect to see the department rearrange workers and possibly ask for help.

"We have just about quadrupled the number of people and we plan to add a lot more so we can get them up and get them trained so we can continue to do this," said Harris.

Landers said the state might start using medical students to help trace. Some countries and tech giants are now looking at tracing patients via phones and data. For instance in South Korea coroanvirus patients can voluntarily be traced by the government through their phones, or they are given bracelets that have tracking technology in it. Landers said that won’t happen in Alabama.

"We do have to consider privacy issues that could be related with using that technology in the United States," said Landers.

Using technology to trace coronavirus patients and the legalities of it is up in the air. Landers said stopping the spread of the virus is number one but a patients privacy must, at all costs, be considered.

"This is a health issue and while we do need to know this information we want to treat these patients as we would want to be treated in terms of our privacy," said Landers.

The director of the CDC is also focusing on aggressive contact tracing. It said up to 100,000 tracers could be needed.

Huntsville/Redstone
Cloudy
66° wxIcon
Hi: 67° Lo: 52°
Feels Like: 66°
Muscle Shoals
Cloudy
69° wxIcon
Hi: 73° Lo: 52°
Feels Like: 69°
Huntsville/Madison
Cloudy
65° wxIcon
Hi: 68° Lo: 51°
Feels Like: 65°
Decatur
Cloudy
66° wxIcon
Hi: 59° Lo: 46°
Feels Like: 66°
Fort Payne
Cloudy
61° wxIcon
Hi: 61° Lo: 50°
Feels Like: 61°
WAAY Radar
WAAY WAAY-TV Cam
WAAY Temperatures

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 441170

Reported Deaths: 6660
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson646811007
Mobile31620572
Madison28310217
Tuscaloosa21525275
Montgomery19954332
Shelby19335132
Baldwin17256189
Lee13205107
Morgan12639142
Etowah12107181
Calhoun11521206
Marshall10471123
Houston9009164
Limestone834981
Cullman8274124
Elmore8214110
DeKalb7894107
Lauderdale7871107
St. Clair7854130
Talladega6481112
Walker6036183
Jackson601545
Colbert549994
Blount547386
Autauga537662
Coffee462464
Dale410785
Franklin374950
Russell357515
Chilton345473
Covington339680
Escambia335444
Tallapoosa3149109
Dallas313296
Chambers304270
Clarke300236
Pike262531
Lawrence254155
Marion253761
Winston233642
Bibb222348
Geneva211547
Marengo209331
Pickens199631
Hale185244
Barbour182738
Fayette178629
Butler174460
Cherokee165731
Henry159925
Monroe152421
Randolph146436
Washington142327
Clay130546
Crenshaw124045
Macon122337
Cleburne121825
Lamar120222
Lowndes115536
Wilcox107922
Bullock103528
Perry100018
Conecuh97922
Sumter90527
Greene77923
Coosa63618
Choctaw51924
Out of AL00
Unassigned00

Tennessee Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 708717

Reported Deaths: 8859
CountyCasesDeaths
Shelby787951178
Davidson73045693
Knox40173443
Hamilton35861338
Rutherford34166296
Unassigned23960137
Williamson22175144
Sumner18819232
Out of TN1639083
Montgomery15154149
Wilson14846164
Sullivan12961220
Blount12366134
Washington12184205
Maury11295131
Bradley1121098
Sevier10839122
Putnam10187152
Madison9344183
Robertson791887
Hamblen7244118
Anderson7013114
Greene6766116
Tipton638069
Coffee578182
Gibson5761116
Dickson558482
Cumberland555676
Bedford544991
Roane535082
Lawrence523369
McMinn522774
Carter5199119
Warren511255
Loudon508952
Jefferson496078
Dyer486986
Monroe471663
Hawkins460672
Franklin424965
Fayette414652
Obion406483
Rhea391357
Lincoln387847
Marshall357939
Cocke356561
Cheatham349531
Weakley345648
Campbell338441
Henderson338259
Giles333376
Carroll318261
White317747
Hardeman315654
Hardin306350
Lauderdale299234
Macon294651
Wayne270424
Henry269159
Overton260146
McNairy248942
DeKalb247342
Haywood245548
Marion236033
Smith235530
Trousdale230716
Scott230332
Hickman229735
Claiborne228833
Fentress217735
Grainger216939
Johnson205234
Morgan197316
Crockett183438
Chester178539
Bledsoe178111
Unicoi170045
Cannon161620
Lake158421
Polk150017
Decatur148927
Union145425
Grundy143022
Sequatchie141919
Humphreys137317
Benton134035
Lewis131021
Meigs119116
Stewart112120
Jackson106123
Clay96526
Perry96225
Houston95125
Moore8299
Pickett69220
Van Buren6748
Hancock4197

Community Events