Meck County sees improvements in contact tracing after CDC report

CDC report finds discrepancies in Meck County’s contact tracing

CHARLOTTE — The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported Wednesday that there were several holes in Mecklenburg County’s contact tracing initiative. Two days later, the county had good news and said its program has improved.

The county contacts people who tested positive for COVID-19 and asks who they’ve been in contact with and where they have been.

[READ MORE: Some who test positive for COVID-19 not cooperating with contact tracers]

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Contact tracers would then communicate with the person’s contacts to warn them, in many cases, to quarantine for 14 days to help stop the spread of the coronavirus.

The CDC looked at Mecklenburg and Randolph counties' contact tracing programs between June 1 and July 12, when COVID-19 cases in the state increased by 183%.

In the report, it stated 48% of those infected said they were not in touch with anyone in 14 days.

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The report also stated that of those who did provide contacts, 25% couldn’t be reached, even after three days of trying.

And of those who were contacted, 73% -- or nearly 10,000 people -- agreed to self-quarantine and to be monitored by the health department.

The report stated 25% refused.

Health Director Gibbie Harris asked the entire community to cooperate with tracers, so they can stop the spread.

“We continued to see a number of individuals who had no close contacts or refused to provide names and information to us on those contacts,” she said.

She said Friday they are seeing improvements.

More than 95% of the tests are completed within 48 hours.

CDC Director Robert Redfield went to Mecklenburg County two days after the study to meet with the health department to talk about contact tracing.

Contact tracers face resistance, difficulties in notifying people to quarantine