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Louisville Changes Focus Of Contact Tracing To Combat COVID-19

Coronavirus cells
Argonne National Laboratory
Coronavirus cells

COVID-19 numbers in Louisville continue to rise.

“We are in triple red, at 73 cases per 100,000,” said Dr. Sarah Moyer, chief health strategist for the city, at a press conference Tuesday.

“Triple red” indicates a rate of daily incidences per 100,000 people that is three times the rate needed to be considered in the red zone.

Moyer said that the number of cases the city is seeing is overwhelming contact tracers. 

“We don’t have the ability to reach everyone in a timely manner, a lot of times we’re not even getting the reports back in a timely manner to get to people during that most infectious period, during that first three days,” Moyer said.

Subsequently, health officials are changing the way they do contact tracing.

The focus will move from trying to reach as many people as possible to those most at risk. That includes people who have been hospitalized with COVID-19, those who’ve experienced breakthrough infections or those who have reinfections, Moyer said. 

Officials hope that changing the focus will allow for contact tracing to be more effective at stopping the spread of the virus.

Louisville officials have contracted with Lacuna Health to help contact tracing management. Lacuna runs a 24-hour helpline in multiple languages to connect people with coronavirus resources.

“We encourage people to call us with whatever questions that they have and if they need help throughout this pandemic,” said Pamela Wardrip, a disease investigator with Lacuna, “We want to help them find those testing and vaccination sites.”

Moyer said that the city plans to tailor its outreach to places with high rates of spread like school systems, long-term care facilities and correctional facilities.

The city is working to provide in-home testing, grocery delivery and a safe place for people to quarantine.

Louisville’s COVID-19 dashboard provides updates on cases and vaccination numbers. Resources about testing and vaccinations can be found on the Louisville COVID-19 Resource Center page.

Breya Jones is the Arts & Culture Reporter for LPM. Email Breya at bjones@lpm.org.