Clark County ‘overwhelmed” with COVID-19 cases, can’t keep up with contact tracing

CLARK COUNTY — The Clark County Combined Health District says they have become “overwhelmed” with the rising COVID-19 cases and are not able to keep up with interviews to assist with contact tracing.

>> Coronavirus: Ohio reports over 6,500 new COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations break record

“We have hired more contact tracers, we also have regular full-time employees who are helping to contact trace on top of their normal duties, and on top of that, some individuals are working 7 days a week to try and keep up with the new cases,” Clark County Health Commissioner Charles Patterson said.

Clark County is reporting at least 80 cases per day recently and even with the additional resources they are unable to keep up.

On Monday, health officials in the county had over 300 people that were positive for COVID-19 that they have been unable to call or interview.

To address the back log, the county is sending a packet those who haven’t been contacted with information for people to fill out.

That packet will include:

  • Letter informing them of positive test result
  • Education on isolation
  • Education on quarantine for any close contacts
  • Education on what constitutes a close contact
  • Asking person to call any close contacts to inform them of possible exposure, so they can begin quarantine period,
  • Shortened interview the county asks to be filled out and returned to CCCHD (electronic version available)

Health officials said respondents will not be asked for bank information, social security number or proof of ID.

“Now is the time to double our efforts of masking, social distancing, and limiting contact with individuals who do not live in your home. Taking responsibility for your own health by leaving any place where masking/social distancing is not occurring as well as not hosting or attending parties is going to be crucial in reducing the number of new cases.” Patterson said.