St. Louis County hiring more virus ‘contact tracers’

ST. LOUIS COUNTY (AP) — The county is looking to hire more full-time contact tracers to track down people who may have been exposed to the virus, St. Louis television station KMOV reported. St. Charles County officials say they also are hiring those “disease detectives.”

“We will definitely need more help,” said Dr. Nhial Tutlam with the county’s public health department.

The goal is to reach out to anyone who’s been in contact with a COVID-19 patient and then monitor them daily, Tutlam said. The tracers hunt down people — including family members, coworkers and others — who may have come into contact with an infected person within 48 hours of that person’s showing symptoms.

Health department staff in the St. Louis area — along with 83 volunteers — are currently in contact with and monitoring thousands of people in St. Louis County.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is recommending that local governments establish large groups of contact tracers.

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