ADPH declines help with contract tracing from Calhoun Co. EMA

Contact tracing in Calhoun County

CALHOUN CO., Ala. (WBRC) - The Alabama Department of Public Health said thanks, but no thanks to Calhoun County after its EMA offered to help with contact tracing.

The Calhoun County Unified Command first offered to help with contact tracing back on April 30.

That was two days after the state health officer said in a press conference that they only had about 50-60 people contact tracing, and that they needed more resources.

Calhoun County’s proposal was to help address that need through the form of school nurses, telephones, computers, office space and training.

The proposal would have been at no cost to taxpayers for the month of May, according to the EMA, and then the costs would have been covered by the state if it continued into the next two months.

But on Wednesday, over a month after the proposal was submitted, the state officially declined the offer.

“When the proposal first came to us, we were not in a position to be able to pick up the cost of the school nurses for the summer. We didn’t have the money at that time,” said Dr. Karen Landers with ADPH.

“And then finally, and I think one of the most important parts of this is, the school nurse is working extremely hard throughout the year and there were some people that already have commitments.”

Calhoun County’s Director of EMA Michael Barton said, “It is a bit concerning at a time when cases seem to be trending in the upper direction a bit, that we have no clear direction right now on contact tracing at the local level.”

ADPH is continuing to use some of their own Public Health staff and medical students right now to help with contact tracing.

They have about 120 at any given time, but Dr. Landers said they expect to add more during the summer and going forward.

Barton said they still look forward to working with ADPH and hope they can be a resource at the local level to help with contact tracing in the future.

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