Doctor: Lower COVID-19 numbers in Arizona mean contact tracing useful again

Doctor: Lower COVID-19 numbers in Arizona mean contact tracing useful again
Health officials use contact tracing to map the spread of coronavirus in a community. (Source: AZ Family)

PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -- When Arizona’s coronavirus numbers were spiking earlier this summer, it was hard for contact tracing to be very effective.

“When you’re overwhelming the system – really when you have so many people coming through, the tracing kind of becomes useless,” said Dr. Ross Goldberg, president of the Arizona Medical Association.

Now that our numbers have come down significantly, Goldberg says we’ve finally seen enough of a drop in the numbers to re-emphasize the tracing.

“We have to worry about the next wave, right? We have flu season coming up,” he said. “We’re worried about another potential wave, so we do want to get ahead of it.”

Maricopa County ramped up staffing numbers as the state’s numbers were going up and traced more than 2,200 cases in the past week.

By reaching out to people who may have been in close contact with a COVID-positive patient, health workers focus on preventing further spread and exposure, rather than finding where cases came from. They advise patients on what to do and what not to do to stop the virus from spreading further.

This article is an abridged version of a story that was originally published by AZ Family. Read the entire report HERE.

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