Coronavirus: Surge in cases causes delay in contact tracing in Montgomery County

Public Health - Dayton Montgomery County hosted free pop-up coronavirus testing at the Montgomery County Fairgrounds on Monday, July 20, 2020. STAFF PHOTO / JIM NOELKER

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Public Health - Dayton Montgomery County hosted free pop-up coronavirus testing at the Montgomery County Fairgrounds on Monday, July 20, 2020. STAFF PHOTO / JIM NOELKER

Spikes in coronavirus cases reported in Montgomery County recently has resulted in a “large backlog” of cases requiring contact tracing, according to Public Health - Dayton & Montgomery County.

As a result, Public Health is asking anyone who tests positive for COVID-19 to immediately reach out to everyone they think may have been exposed to the virus as a close contact.

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All close contacts should quarantine for 14 days.

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention defines a close contact as someone who was within 6 feet of an infected person for at least 15 minutes in a day starting from two days before the illness onset. A close contact is also defined as having direct physical contact, sharing utensils, kissing, being near an infected person when they cough or sneeze or caring for someone with the virus.

“Exponential growth in cases over the past several weeks has definitely created a huge backlog in contact tracing,” Health Commissioner Jeff Cooper said. “What’s really important is being able to contact people as quickly as possible, so they can self-quarantine or isolate to prevent the virus from spreading even further. That’s why we are asking everyone with a positive test to notify anyone that may be a close contact.”

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Contact tracing aims to slow the spread of the virus by notifying people that they may have been exposed to coronavirus and should monitor their health for symptoms. It also involves asking people to self-quarantine if needed, as well as helping those exposed get tested and get the resources they need to stay home safely.

As of Tuesday, there have been 23,277 total cases of coronavirus reported in Montgomery County, according to the Ohio Department of Health. In the last two weeks, there have been 3,828 cases reported.

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