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Clermont Co. contact tracers overwhelmed by rising COVID-19 cases

Posted at 8:02 PM, Nov 16, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-16 20:02:34-05

CLERMONT COUNTY, Ohio — Clermont County public health officials said booming COVID-19 cases make it nearly impossible to keep up with contact tracing in the county.

In a Monday news release, Clermont County Public Health (CCPH) said disease investigation cannot be rushed, and hiring more contact tracers still can’t match the exponential growth of the virus in the area.

“We have hired additional contact tracers, but it’s still not enough to keep up with the demand,” said Health Commissioner Julianne Nesbit. “Our staff is doing everything we possibly can to keep up with the new cases, we are physically and emotionally exhausted, but we are continuing to do this important work to the best of our ability to protect our community.”

As of Nov. 12, Clermont County had a rate of 410 new cases per 100,000 residents. For comparison, on Oct. 1, the county’s rate was only 62 new cases per 100,000 residents.

In addition to hiring additional contact tracers, CCPH said they have been using staff members from every other department to fill in the gaps and assist with contact tracing.

Much like Warren County, CCPH has switched from making phone calls for contact tracing to sending emails and letters in some situations to provide quarantine instructions and information.

CCPH said phone calls are still being made in situations where there are a large number of contacts for a single case, where there is a potential for further spread of the disease.

Nesbit urged people to be as vigilant in flattening the curve now as we were in the spring months.

“We saw in the spring that we can flatten the curve, but we must be extra vigilant now, especially with the holidays coming up,” Nesbit said.