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El Paso County health officials say people are reluctant to help with contact tracing

KRDO

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KRDO) -- El Paso County Health officials say they are finding it more difficult to contact trace for COVID-19 as fewer people are cooperating with health officials' efforts to trace the virus. 

Dr. Robin Johnson - El Paso County’s Health Director - says those that do answer the phone to assist in contact tracing efforts prove to be extremely helpful. Recently, she says many people are actively choosing not to speak with health officials. 

“We need to help to track where the disease is but also we have an opportunity to educate and to potentially connect people to monoclonal antibodies,” said Johnson.  

During a press conference on Friday, Governor Jared Polis urged the people of Colorado to utilize monoclonal antibody treatments if they test positive for the COVID-19 virus. Gov. Polis says the treatment can help keep people out of hospitals.

Earlier this week, Colorado State Epidemiologist Rachel Herlihy said bed availability is at an ‘all-time low’ in the state. Herlihy says there has been a steady spike in COVID cases, hospitalizations, and deaths in the state since August.

“For those that are high risk (monoclonal antibodies) is the only treatment available at this time for COVID,” said Dr. Johnson. “There are a lot of benefits not only for our community and what we are tracing, but potentially for you personally to answer our phones and work with our teams.” 

Dr. Johnson says she is not certain why people are choosing not to answer their phones to assist with contact tracing efforts. She believes pandemic fatigue and misinformation could be playing factors. 

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Dan Beedie

Dan is a reporter with the 13 Investigates team. Learn more about Dan here.

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