Coronavirus Skagit

With new cases of COVID-19 continuing to climb in Skagit County, county Public Health has needed to contract with the state to help with contact tracing.

The change, which started Nov. 11, was necessary to keep up with the surge of new cases, according to county spokesperson Laura Han.

“There are too many cases for our staff to investigate fully,” she said.

Han said local staff will still make the initial call to those who test positive for COVID-19, but state staff will handle deeper investigations, identify contacts and instruct those contacts to get tested.

Early in the pandemic, county Public Health leaders wanted to keep contact tracing in house because doing so makes the process faster than working with the state, said Public Health Director Jennifer Johnson.

However, in the months since, Johnson said the state Department of Health has added staff and worked out the kinks in its system, and she said she isn’t concerned the process will slow.

— Reporter Brandon Stone: bstone@skagitpublishing.com, 360-416-2112, Twitter: @Brandon_SVH

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