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Local health officials: contact tracing more difficult with latest COVID surge

Published: Sep. 8, 2021 at 4:47 PM EDT
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PARKERSBURG, W.Va. (WTAP) - West Virginia health officials said last week the recent rise in COVID-19 active cases has forced local health departments to divert attention from an important part of tracking those cases.

And the Mid-Ohio Valley Health Department says it, too, has been unable to do as much contact tracing.

The health department says it recently has been getting 200 additional virus cases every day, giving it less time to determine how those people got sick.

It’s even been asking those patients, if they can, to determine that themselves.

”As soon as they find out they’re sick or have symptoms,” says Public Information Specialist Carrie Brainard, “if they can start thinking about how many people they were in contact with in the past 2-3 days before they started having symptoms. Making a list of: did I go to church? Who did I sit beside? Did I go to an event? Who was I in contact with?”

Brainard says that’s particularly important for students in school: especially those taking part in extra-curricular activities.

She says the health department is bringing on part-time help to do what contact tracing it can.

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