The time it takes to contact trace one positive case of COVID-19 in Alberta is on the rise.
The process of contact tracing involves phoning a positive case, identifying close contacts and following up with those individuals.
The hope is quick communication with a confirmed case and their close contacts will help limit the spread of the coronavirus.
Previously, it took about six-and-a-half hours to contact trace a confirmed case, according to Dr. Kristin Klein, medical officer of health with the communicable disease control team at Alberta Health Services.
But Klein said with rising case numbers in the province and the number of close contacts per case increasing, it can now sometimes take several days.
The goal is to contact trace a case within 24 hours, but Klein said there are sometimes challenges meeting that target.
“What helps our team is when people keep that circle small and they can easily tell us who they’ve been around.”
Klein is urging Albertans to limit the number of people they can come into close contact with and to continue to follow public health guidance, such as physical distancing.
On Thursday, Alberta’s chief medical officer of health raised concerns about the recent spike in cases in the province.
On July 9, there were 584 active cases of COVID-19 across Alberta. On Thursday, there were 1,293 active cases.
“This needs to be a wake-up call,” Dr. Deena Hinshaw said. “I am very concerned by these numbers.”
Contact tracers are working from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. every day, and Klein said an additional 75 contact tracers have been brought on to assist with the work.View link »