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As Coronavirus Cases Climb, Vigo County Can No Longer Trace Them All

Contact tracing quickly becomes complicated, but is seen as a key mitigation strategy. (Pixabay, GDJ)

Some Vigo County residents who test positive for the coronavirus may need to complete their own contact tracing.

Overwhelmed and unable to properly trace every new positive case, the Vigo County Health Department will begin sending instructions to some patients who test positive for the novel coronavirus.

Individuals still will be contacted by the state’s tracers, but well-documented delays by the Maximus-managed state program could lead to more infections—that’s why the county is asking patients to identify and reach out to their own close contacts.

READ MORE: Local Health Officials Say Indiana's Contact Tracing Efforts 'Unacceptable'

The county has about 15 staff who do contact tracing. They had been reaching out to every new positive case, but with more than 100 new cases every day, the task has become too difficult.

Roni Elder is the health department’s spokeswoman. She says despite this change, the department is not giving up, just triaging the most important cases.

We’re looking at them," Roni Elder, the Health Educator and Media Coordinator for Vigo County's Health Department said. "What are the most important ones for us to continue to trace and have a handle on?"

COVID PSA Vigo County, IN by Indiana Public Media News on Scribd

County health departments typically have greater success with contact tracing than the state. Indiana announced earlier this year it was losing one in five cases to follow-up.

READ MORE: Surge In Deaths From COVID-19 Forces Preparation Of Refrigerated Trucks In Vigo Co.

The decision comes amid another record week of hospitalizations and new positive cases for the Hoosier state.

Last week, the county -- which has been especially hard-hit -- annouced they had secured refigerated trucks to store the deceased. Elder said the trucks had not yet been deployed.

For the latest news and resources about COVID-19, bookmark our Coronavirus In Indiana page here.

Want to contact your legislators about an issue that matters to you? Find out how to contact your senators and member of Congress here.

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