Contact tracers needed to track local COVID-19 spread

Posted at 6:58 PM, Jun 24, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-26 17:55:24-04

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — The huge surge in COVID-19 cases across Nueces county has created a problem for the City/County Health Department.

They're now in need of help.

When someone tests positive for the novel coronavirus, people called "contact tracers" investigate who the patient came in contact with to determine how they were infected.

But there are only 25 local contact tracers who have been tasked with tracking the more than 1,000 cases reported so far.

More contract tracers are needed to help control the spread of the virus. To apply, click here.

“It's important because if you don't isolate those (patients), and they're out in the community and they're getting sick and they don't know it yet,” said Annette Rodriguez, director of public health for the City/County Health Department. “Then they're spreading it to everybody else.”

She said the health department is working on hiring more people for contact tracing and help with the mass amounts of COVID cases that are coming in.

Rodriguez also said the health department needs help locating convalescent plasma for current COVID-19-positive patients. She said the department needs patients whom tested positive for coronavirus and have fully recovered to donate plasma at the Coastal Bend Blood Center, saying every one donor could save two lives.

"We're able to use that blood for critically-ill patients that are COVID-19 (positive), and right now that's important because don't have any plasma at this time," she said.

Rodriguez addressed a couple questions having to do with self-isolation. She says if you feel sick, have been exposed or are awaiting test results, you must self-isolate.

"If we're not all doing our part, and we're not all trying to stay home as much as possible," she said. "We're never going to be successful. That way these numbers can go back down, and then we can go back out into the community safely."