‘Some don’t want to be told to stay home’: Contact tracing resistance reported

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(WJW) — As Ohio went over 200,000 coronavirus cases today, local health officials say contact tracing is more important than ever.

  However, some local health departments are reporting resistance to contact tracing.

“Most of the people we are reaching out to once we get a positive identification are cooperating but we have far too many that are reluctant to participate in contact tracing,” said Geauga County Health Commissioner Tom Quade.

 According to Quade, contact tracing is critical to slowing the spread of coronavirus. It is also voluntary.

 “We had a situation where a parent went in for a meeting with a school.  And when we did that contact tracing, she never mentioned that meeting.  This is an example of how the virus can enter a school setting unknowingly,” said Quade.

 And Geauga County is not alone. According to the Lake County Board of Health, most people have been cooperative; however, they’ve experienced some uncooperative parents.

  “I think some of the resistance is from some of the schools, regarding sports.  Parents think their kid shouldn’t be in quarantine. Let them play,” said Muhammad Jafar, contact tracing coordinator.

 Summit County Public Health Commissioner Donna Skoda says some people see being contacted as an invasion of privacy.

 “We have some resistance.  I can tell you there is some fear and some suspicion as to what we do with it.  And some people don’t want to be told to stay home,” said Skoda.

  Skoda says, for the most part, Summit County has done extremely well with contact tracing.

  The Cuyahoga County Board of Health says the vast majority of people who are identified as cases are cooperative with contact tracing efforts. “What we find is that sometimes the contacts of a confirmed case are not always willing to talk. This occurs more often among young people,” the board of health said in a statement.

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