Tracking coronavirus cases proves difficult amid new surge

Arkansas
Coronavirus Disease 2019 Graphic. (U.S. Air Force Graphic by Rosario "Charo" Gutierrez)

By TAMMY WEBBER, BRADY McCOMBS and JOHN MONE

HOUSTON (AP) — Health departments around the U.S. that are using contact tracers to contain coronavirus outbreaks are scrambling to bolster their ranks amid a surge of cases and resistance to cooperation from those infected or exposed. With too few trained contact tracers to handle soaring caseloads, one hard-hit Arizona county is relying on National Guard members to pitch in. In Louisiana, people who have tested positive typically wait more than two days to respond to health officials — giving the disease crucial time to spread. Contact tracing tracks people who test positive and anyone they’ve come in contact with. It was challenging even when stay-at-home orders were in place, but it’s exponentially more difficult now.