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

Confirmed Cases: 99926

Reported Deaths: 1781
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Jefferson13258244
Mobile10517207
Montgomery6835149
Madison544734
Tuscaloosa423076
Baldwin365125
Unassigned363064
Shelby330936
Marshall318937
Lee270047
Morgan241118
Etowah216232
DeKalb183013
Calhoun180717
Elmore173138
Walker153964
Houston141912
Russell13872
St. Clair135418
Limestone134913
Dallas133123
Franklin128820
Cullman122712
Colbert120716
Lauderdale118919
Autauga117421
Escambia108717
Talladega104814
Jackson10144
Tallapoosa86579
Chambers84438
Dale83525
Clarke82610
Blount8124
Chilton8097
Butler76736
Coffee7646
Covington73720
Pike7087
Marion58026
Barbour5765
Lowndes57324
Marengo56515
Hale47826
Bullock46611
Winston45711
Perry4454
Washington44312
Bibb4425
Wilcox43210
Monroe4215
Pickens4049
Randolph40310
Conecuh39310
Sumter36418
Lawrence3512
Macon33914
Crenshaw3265
Choctaw28712
Cherokee2758
Henry2643
Clay2635
Geneva2631
Greene25211
Lamar2292
Fayette2125
Cleburne1271
Coosa1033
Out of AL00

Tennessee Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 123914

Reported Deaths: 1233
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Shelby23485308
Davidson20722217
Rutherford658955
Hamilton622053
Knox468540
Williamson357725
Sumner344972
Unassigned31424
Out of TN294714
Wilson232123
Bradley195613
Montgomery195213
Sevier18947
Putnam178518
Trousdale15836
Robertson156720
Hamblen140514
Blount131411
Washington12772
Maury12727
Tipton121110
Madison116018
Sullivan103714
Hardeman93017
Bedford92811
Macon86013
Lake7920
Loudon7493
Gibson7266
Bledsoe7081
Fayette7028
Dickson6982
Anderson6936
Dyer6638
Henderson6043
Cheatham5997
Jefferson5844
Obion5794
Lawrence5756
McMinn55320
Coffee5483
Rhea5382
Warren5334
Carter5246
Lauderdale5148
Haywood5106
Greene5048
Roane4852
Hawkins4837
Hardin4828
Cocke4783
Weakley4634
Cumberland4586
Smith4554
Monroe4529
Giles38513
McNairy3815
DeKalb3652
Franklin3324
Carroll3253
Lincoln3091
Marshall3044
White2945
Henry2900
Johnson2850
Claiborne2760
Hickman2730
Crockett2695
Campbell2541
Wayne2282
Marion2274
Chester2232
Decatur2163
Polk2073
Grainger2000
Overton1981
Unicoi1690
Union1620
Benton1591
Cannon1510
Jackson1291
Humphreys1283
Morgan1261
Scott1220
Grundy1142
Meigs1060
Sequatchie1060
Fentress960
Hancock812
Perry810
Clay780
Stewart780
Lewis741
Moore610
Houston590
Pickett371
Van Buren360

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