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Contact tracers working to protect Kentucky communities

Posted at 6:35 PM, Oct 21, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-21 18:37:38-04

CYNTHIANA, Ky. (LEX 18) — Since early March, contact tracers have tracked thousands of COVID-19 cases across Kentucky.

The first department to track a positive test was WEDCO District Health Department. The department covers Harrison, Scott, and Nicholas Counties.

This week on State of the Commonwealth, we are focusing on COVID-19 and the effect the pandemic has had on our lives. The county we are featuring is Harrison County.

Kentucky's first COVID-19 patient was from Cynthiana, which was announced March 6. By the time we learned about the positive case, Dr. Crystal Miller and her WEDCO team were already contact tracing, and uncovered more positive cases.

"We take that case from start to finish. They make contact with that positive case, they roll their life back 14 days, and they make contact with where they've been," said Dr. Miller.

Dr. Miller says her staff works six days a week and constantly works the phones.

"Twelve hour days doing contact tracing. It's a very difficult situation. Our communities are tired and COVID-fatigued, and it's just really difficult," said Dr. Miller.

Dr. Miller says to keep restaurants open and kids inside the classroom, everyone has to stay diligent, especially while COVID-19 continues to spread.

"Mask compliance absolutely, is of utmost importance to us. And then making sure you're conveying to contact tracers where you've been, who you've been around so that we don't have asymptomatic spread in our communities," said Dr. Miller.

Dr. Miller and other health department directors say honesty and compliance with recommendations can go a long way to helping your neighbor.

"We all want the economy open. We want to return to normal. We want to hang out with our families. We want to do the things that we want to do. In order to do that, we have to be inconvenienced a little bit," said Dr. Miller.

State of the Commonwealth airs on LEX 18 this Sunday at 9:00 am.