Contact Tracers Focusing On Household Exposures To COVID

Des Moines, Iowa — The number of new coronavirus cases in Iowa is going up so quickly that contact tracers with the state Department of Public Health are having a hard time keeping up. Dr. Caitlyn Pedati, the state epidemiologist, says they’ve made so-called “household contacts” the priority.

(as said) “Particularly when we think about family gatherings, moving into the holiday season, and the way that we interact,” Pedati says, “again keeping in mind that the goal here, right, is doing what we can to limit spread, protect people who are going to have poor outcomes and maintain those health care resources.”

About 100 state employees are doing this kind of case investigations. Last week, the public health department started accepting bids from private companies, to add another 200 people to the effort to track down and notify people who’ve been in close contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID.

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