Montco officials issue reminder on importance of COVID-19 contact tracing

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PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — Health officials in Montgomery County reiterated it's crucial that anyone who tests positive for COVID-19 do what they can to cooperate with contact tracing.

Montgomery County Commissioner Dr. Val Arkoosh said 97% of people they get in touch with are now cooperating with contact tracing, but despite their best efforts, they’re only getting in touch with about 70% of people who test positive.

To explain how contact tracing helps contain the spread of the virus, she spoke of a party outside of Montgomery County in early August.

Arkoosh said there were people at the party who didn't know it, but were infectious and later tested positive.

"The positive individuals were not willing to provide the names or contact information of the attendees at the party," she continued.

That included some Montgomery County residents, who eventually became symptomatic and tested positive. But since they'd had no idea they’d been exposed, they in turn exposed several people, before they got sick and tested positive.

"So this has resulted in the need for extensive quarantines of individuals associated with a camp, a school, workplaces and a social gathering," said Arkoosh.

But she added at least three more people tested positive. All of this would have been preventable if there had been cooperation with contact tracers.