L.A. County contact tracers struggling to reach, interview people with COVID-19

Local news
Maureen Calderon, an L.A. County contact tracer, said sometimes people with COVID-19 are “so inundated with calls from friends or family that we couldn’t leave a message because the voicemail was full.”(Madeleine Hordinski / Los Angeles Times)

Maureen Calderon, an L.A. County contact tracer, said sometimes people with COVID-19 are “so inundated with calls from friends or family that we couldn’t leave a message because the voicemail was full.”(Madeleine Hordinski / Los Angeles Times)

Los Angeles County has continued to struggle to reach people infected with the coronavirus as the pandemic drags on, with contract tracers interviewing only around 40% of the people they were tasked with reaching during the last week of August.

That number has slumped since last summer, when contact tracers were interviewing as many as 70% of the infected residents whose cases they were assigned per week.

The contact tracing system — considered a key tool in slowing the spread of the virus — has faced obstacles from the start of the pandemic, when it repeatedly faltered in containing workplace outbreaks.

Now contact tracers, who are tasked with ensuring that infected people isolate themselves, notifying others who may have been exposed and offering county resources, are finding it increasingly difficult to reach people and get them to agree to an interview.

Read the full story on LATimes.com.

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