City uses contact tracing to help reduce the spread of COVID-19 in El Paso

Coronavirus

EL PASO, Texas (KTSM)–With El Paso facing nine-straight days of triple-digit cases of the coronavirus, City officials are working to reduce those numbers using a contact tracing method.

Contact tracing pin points how cases are spread by tracking down how many people could’ve come in contact with someone who tested positive for the virus.

” We find some common denominators such as places that they have gone so also that can be factoring in how this individual acquired this infection,” El Paso’s health authority Dr. Hector Orcaranza said.

According to the most up-to-date City data, most new cases come from people who have come in close contact with someone who has already tested positive. Officials say that means many come from social gatherings within families or someone at home.

“Don’t think that because you dont have symptoms you can live your life as usal because that can lead to a wider spread of the virus among the other members of the community,” Dr. Orcaranza said.

Officials say contact tracing helps them notify others to self-isolate until they test and get their own results before possibly spreading the virus.

“We monitor those individuals, we monitor them for ten days,” Dr. Orcaranza said.

The latest City data shows more than 900 people are currently under monitoring, meaning they may have been exposed to the virus.

“In the meantime, people need to remain at home, people need to be in self-quarantine especially if they exhibit symptoms,” Dr. Orcaranza said.

The City of El Paso said it as 116 contact tracers as of now with more people currently in training virtually and in-person.

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