COVID-19 contact tracers say they're reaching more people

As metrics have remained fairly stable over the past few months, contact tracers are continuing their outreach.

Video Transcript

MICHAEL PERCHICK: About 45% of adults in North Carolina are at least partially vaccinated, a promising step towards protection, but just one tool needed to overcome COVID.

More than a year into the pandemic, the work continues for contact tracers statewide.

MARLENE KURT: Everyone will receive a digital notification, and that will include details about their quarantine or isolation dates, and links to resources in the community, and also some information about how to get a hold of us if--

MICHAEL PERCHICK: Marlene Kurt is Wake County's contact tracing and monitoring supervisor. She says people are more receptive to outreach efforts than they were earlier in the pandemic. Their weekly goal is to reach 1,000 to 2,000 people.

NCDHHS reports there are 2,000 full time and part time staff supporting contact tracing at local health departments, including 1,248 people hired as part of Community Care of North Carolina. Outside the work being done at the county level, state health departments also maintain relationships with each other, ensuring people who travel out of state can be properly notified if necessary.

NICOLE MUSHONGA: So as people get tested, depending on the address that they list when they get their test, that will determine how that test is routed, either to that state or to that county.

MICHAEL PERCHICK: Along with vaccinations and the three W's, the knowledge of exposure is vital in protecting yourself and others.

MARLENE KURT: So many people don't have symptoms. So contact tracing is really key as far as letting people know you might be carrying, you need to be on the lookout for these symptoms--

MICHAEL PERCHICK: Contact tracers do not reveal the identity of the person who tested positive, nor do they provide information about whether or not it was a variant strain. I'm Michael Perchick, ABC 11, Eyewitness News.