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.

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Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 518899

Reported Deaths: 10712
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson753641487
Mobile37763798
Madison33859494
Tuscaloosa25266443
Montgomery23962565
Shelby23106238
Baldwin20631300
Lee15524165
Calhoun14284311
Morgan14139268
Etowah13662345
Marshall11957219
Houston10380278
Elmore9993200
Limestone9811147
Cullman9470188
St. Clair9426234
Lauderdale9215227
DeKalb8746181
Talladega8058171
Walker7087275
Jackson6754110
Autauga6723103
Blount6483135
Colbert6203130
Coffee5399112
Dale4767110
Russell428838
Franklin419982
Chilton4083109
Covington4053114
Tallapoosa3893146
Escambia387674
Dallas3527149
Chambers3499122
Clarke346360
Marion3065100
Pike305875
Lawrence295395
Winston272372
Bibb256258
Marengo248661
Geneva245875
Pickens232959
Barbour224755
Hale218775
Butler212266
Fayette208960
Henry187844
Cherokee182044
Randolph176941
Monroe171440
Washington164038
Macon154548
Clay149354
Crenshaw149257
Cleburne146041
Lamar139234
Lowndes136453
Wilcox124327
Bullock121340
Conecuh109028
Perry107926
Sumter102932
Coosa99228
Greene90734
Choctaw58724
Out of AL00
Unassigned00

Tennessee Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 822085

Reported Deaths: 12001
CountyCasesDeaths
Shelby914971575
Davidson86563918
Knox48960619
Hamilton42811480
Rutherford41428415
Williamson26942213
Sumner22909338
Montgomery18780223
Out of TN17852101
Wilson17747223
Unassigned16441132
Sullivan15781283
Blount14839194
Bradley14284147
Washington13850240
Sevier12986174
Maury12901166
Putnam11072173
Madison10628240
Robertson9486127
Anderson8539171
Hamblen8409169
Greene7645151
Tipton7171104
Coffee6782121
Dickson6643108
Cumberland6461127
Gibson6355144
Bedford6350126
Carter6332156
McMinn625595
Roane6124101
Jefferson6008121
Loudon595869
Lawrence573186
Hawkins5682105
Monroe564395
Warren549481
Dyer5340104
Franklin504987
Fayette484578
Obion447196
Cocke439598
Cheatham436551
Rhea428075
Lincoln427963
Marshall407358
Campbell405462
Weakley398761
Giles391298
Henderson368375
Carroll355582
Macon354375
White351468
Hardin346166
Hardeman345063
Lauderdale312744
Henry309775
Marion307246
Scott303145
Claiborne302373
Overton294360
Wayne294134
Hickman278345
McNairy275354
DeKalb273953
Smith271737
Haywood267660
Grainger255449
Trousdale247822
Morgan242839
Fentress236346
Johnson226738
Chester208651
Bledsoe208211
Crockett199848
Polk196024
Unicoi191149
Cannon187531
Union184034
Grundy176431
Lake169526
Humphreys168721
Sequatchie165228
Benton160940
Decatur156438
Lewis154826
Meigs132123
Stewart129328
Jackson129235
Clay108331
Houston107333
Perry105628
Moore99217
Van Buren82621
Pickett75524
Hancock53612

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