Contact Tracers Stressed During Spokane Covid Surge

Oct 15, 2020

Spokane public health officials reported another triple digit day for new Covid cases on Thursday.
Credit Spokane COVID Response

Another triple digit day for new Spokane Covid cases.

The health district today [Thursday] reported 133 new positive tests. It’s the second consecutive day of triple digit cases and a tie for the fourth-highest number of cases in a single day.

Health Officer Bob Lutz says the surge, now about four weeks into it, is putting a lot of pressure on the health district’s contract tracing teams.

“Yeah, we are definitely stretched," he said. "When you see 140 cases in one day when you’re consistently seeing 70, 80 cases, it does stretch capacity pretty significantly. Staff are fatigued, no question about that, as well.”

He says a new team of 10 contact tracers from the Public Health Institute in Oakland is due to begin work on Spokane cases next week. The institute already has two teams working with the health district.

Lutz says those contact tracers continue to run into obstacles, with more and more people contacted refusing to provide more information about who they’ve been in contact with.