Some who test positive for COVID-19 not cooperating with contact tracers

Some who test positive for COVID-19 not cooperating with contact tracers

CALDWELL COUNTY, N.C. — When someone is diagnosed with COVID-19, contact tracers try to figure out their last known movements and interactions to best determine who may have been exposed to the virus.

But some people aren't very forthcoming when they test positive.

Healthcare workers in Caldwell County told Channel 9 that the vast majority of people they contact are cooperative, but there are some who won’t answer their phones or disclose who’ve they’ve been in contact with.

Content Continues Below

Local healthcare providers are currently testing on average 150 people a day in Caldwell County. Channel 9 learned Friday that the numbers in Caldwell County are trending in the wrong direction, with the positive percentage climbing from 5% to 7.7%.

At the county health department, 35 employees are involved in contact tracing. Healthcare workers said they are running into cases where some of the people who’ve tested positive are not cooperating with the contact tracers, despite being told that their name won’t be revealed when those tracers reach out to other people they’ve been in contact with.

>> Have questions about the coronavirus pandemic and its impact on the Carolinas? We have an entire section dedicated to coverage of the outbreak -- CLICK HERE FOR MORE.

In some cases, the health department has had to drive out to homes after being unable to reach people who’ve tested positive.

“People try to hang up on you, and we definitely try to call back,” said one contact tracer. “And we ensure them that we are only trying to help them. If they don’t want to answer the phone or they don’t want to talk right now we keep trying to make sure we can help stop the spread.”

The Catawba County Health Department reached out to Channel 9, saying they are encouraging people to answer their phones. The information you share with contact tracers could be invaluable in keeping the people around you healthy and slowing the spread of COVID-19.

Contact tracers discuss challenges during COVID-19