Lane Co. COVID-19 Contact Tracers Hampered By 'No Way' Or 'Nobody's Home'

Oct 15, 2020

If you get a call from the Lane County Public Health department, officials say ‘please take it.’ This comes out of concern as non-compliance in the COVID-19 contact tracing effort continues to grow.

Lane County is seeing "non-compliance" in 18% of those under monitoring for COVID-19. Health officials say contact tracing is an arduous task made all the harder when public health officials can not reach the contact on the phone.
Credit Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

When a positive coronavirus case is entered into Oregon’s database, Public Health tries to reach that person by phone to begin the disease investigation.

That involves identifying any other people who may have been in contact long enough to be exposed and then reaching out to them. Public Health spokesperson Jason Davis said too many of those secondary contacts are completely out of the prevention loop.

“People who are either not available to be reached or not compliant in the isolation and quarantine process.”

There are currently 652 Lane County residents considered “under monitoring” for symptoms. But Davis said nearly 155 of them are either completely unaware of their status or are unwilling to take the recommended steps to help stop the spread of COVID-19.

In Lane County, 23 people have died from COVID-19 and there have been a total of 1,959 cases since the start of the pandemic.

As his message is translated to American Sign Language, Public information Officer Jason Davis reports COVID-19 contact tracers are hitting dead ends with too many non-answered calls or folks who refuse to comply with COVID-19 transmission prevention protocols.
Credit Lane County Public Health video