Linn County creates new online form to help overwhelmed contact tracers

Published: Nov. 23, 2020 at 8:25 PM CST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) - Linn County Public Health is asking people living in the county to fill out a COVID-19 contact tracing form online.

The new form, which is only for people living in Linn County, is meant to improve the efficiency of contact tracing efforts by Linn County Public Health. The increase in cases in a short period of time is straining local contact tracing resources and resulting in delays in the traditional contact tracing process.

Contact tracing focuses on contacting individuals that are confirmed to have COVID-19, providing education, and notifying close contacts that have potentially been exposed to the virus that causes COVID-19.

Heather Meador, who is the clinical services supervisor for Linn County Public Health, said the increase in cases is overwhelming contact tracers.

“Because of just the sheer volume, when you have anywhere from 200 to 500 cases a day, and it keeps building up and up,” Meador said. “It’s hard to get a hold of those people.”

The longer the lag time between a positive test and tracing, the more opportunity the virus has to find new hosts.

The department has sent notices in the mail for people as well. Contact tracing at the state level is playing catch up, too. The Iowa Department of Public Health is currently recruiting more people to do this work.

The Linn County positivity rate is at 20.2% over the last 14 days, according to the Iow Department of Public Health. 92 people in the county are in the hospital for the virus.

Copyright 2020 KCRG. All rights reserved.