The Critical Task of Contact Tracing — County Health Departments Struggle To Meet Needs


On this West Virginia Morning, we explore how some counties are preparing for the critical and time-intensive role of contact tracing. We also hear from healthcare workers trying to find ways to prevent future coronavirus outbreaks, and we hear how video conferencing apps may help capture family oral histories.

With West Virginia in the process of reopening its economy, Gov. Jim Justice and public health officials have called for more personal protective equipment, increased testing and the ramping up of contact tracing.

Contact tracing is basically tracking an infected person’s movement and contact with others so public health experts know who else might have been exposed.

But how are public officials in the state addressing those efforts? And why is contact tracing now coming into focus? Dave Mistich brings us this report.

As states across the country, including West Virginia, begin to reopen non-essential businesses, public health experts say understanding who has the virus and who has been exposed is key to prevent future outbreaks. Some healthcare workers in West Virginia are part of a study aiming to do just that. Brittany Patterson has more.

Many families have turned to video conferencing apps like Zoom and Skype to keep in touch with their loved ones during the coronavirus pandemic. Reporter Eric Douglas brings us a story about how you can use that online chatter to serve a larger purpose —to capture family oral histories.

West Virginia Morning is a production of West Virginia Public Broadcasting which is solely responsible for its content.

Support for our news bureaus comes from West Virginia University, Concord University, and Shepherd University.

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