Local health department forced to scale back on contact tracing

Published: Sep. 13, 2021 at 5:21 PM EDT
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FAIRMONT, W.Va (WDTV) - Administrator at the Marion County Health Department Lloyd White says this past weekend, the state gave departments the ability to choose not to contact trace.

“The challenge becomes with just exuberant number of cases, it’s having the time to do that and do that effectively,” said White.

West Virginia set records in the past week for positive coronavirus cases.

According to state health data, last week’s total of confirmed cases was 1,738, only to be broken by Saturday’s total of 1,821.

Director of Nursing at the Marion County Health Department Megan Payne says there were well over 100 positive covid cases in Marion county.

“Unfortunately, cases are trending upward and in the wrong direction like this last weekend the culminative total of cases that came through were 415,” said Payne.

White says trying to identify all close contacts is difficult.

“So, we depend on the positive cases to identify who they think they may have been exposed during the last up to two days prior to the onset of symptoms,” said White.

They say unless they are aware of those close contacts, they can’t do anything about it. They say it’s totally up to each person to tell the department his or her close contacts.

“People having inconsistencies in their communications with us or lack of communication with us, ya know. We want to work with you to help stop the transmission of this disease,” said Payne.

The department says the goal is to slow the next case enough to control the virus to a manageable state, not eliminate it. They say the best way to eliminate most of the threat of the virus is to get vaccinated.

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