Contact tracing becomes more difficult as COVID-19 cases rise in the North Country

WWNY Contact tracing becomes more difficult as COVID-19 cases rise in the North Country

WATERTOWN, N.Y. (WWNY) - The rise in local COVID-19 cases is putting some strain on county contact tracing efforts.

St. Lawrence County Public Health Director, Dr. Dana McGuire, said her department used to be able to contact people in about 24 hours, but now that’s taking twice as long.

Jefferson County Legislature Chairman Scott Gray said his county’s public health department is also feeling strained.

Dr. McGuire said people outside her department have been pitching in to help.

Gray said there are ways the public can help make things easier in Jefferson County.

“People can answer their phones when we call them, that would be first. Answering their phone, and cooperating with public health,” Gray said.

“We’re getting staff from other county departments,” McGuire said. “I believe there’s six county departments that are kind of helping. We’re also getting volunteers from the community.”

McGuire said her department has made a handout for testing centers, spelling out what people should do once they’ve been tested.

Copyright 2020 WWNY. All rights reserved.