ORLANDO, Fla. – The head of the Florida Department of Health in Orange County said he’s rethinking how his team will move forward with contact tracing in the face of rising coronavirus cases.
Contact tracing allows health officials to see who a person who has tested positive for coronavirus may have been in contact with, and who they could have possibly spread the virus to.
Dr. Raul Pino said his team was currently working seven days a week, and the new cases are increasing their workload.
Since Friday, Orange County has added more than 2,000 new coronavirus infections.
He said he started with a team of 16 contact tracers before the coronavirus pandemic started.
As the virus spread in Orange County, he said he added 20 additional staffers.
He said 22 more were added as part of a call center, and he added 32 more on Monday.
He said he hoped to secure funding to add more than 100 additional contact tracers sometime, this week, but he’s also thinking of making some changes.
“I think we have to change our strategy because this isn’t working,” he told News 6.
Pino said given the large numbers of new infections, he’s now asking if everyone who tests positive for COVID-19 should be contact traced.
He said it might be time to prioritize.
“Am I wasting time and resources on one individual on the street, or should I concentrate on the factory that has 20 cases, but is more important because the transmission rate can be greater and has a greater impact on the economy?” he asked.
Pino said he’s speaking with health leaders in Tallahassee about shifting the priorities when it comes to contact tracing.
In the meantime, he said Orange County residents need to take the warnings seriously about the spread of the coronavirus as they head into the Independence Day weekend.