Louisiana Department of Health working to make contact tracing more effective

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BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) — Dr. Alex Billioux with the Louisiana Department of Health announced at the Governor’s press conference Tuesday, 70% of positive COVID-19 patients say they do not have contacts that qualify for contact tracing.

Despite this, Dr. Billioux said contact tracing is working, it’s just not as effective as they hoped it would be.

“When you see 70% you worry that people aren’t full understanding and participating in contact tracing,” Dr. Billioux said.

More than 58,000 people have been successfully contacted through contact tracing, according to Spokesman Sean Ellis with the Louisiana Department of Health.

As of Tuesday, contact tracing has cost the department $8 million dollars and 64% of people have been successfully contacted.

“One of the big things we do through contact tracing is connect people with resources, giving them really valuable information about how to protect themselves and their family members,” Dr. Billioux said.

“That does have a value, that has a value to the individual who is reached.”

Dr. Billioux said the Department of Health is working on ways they can make it more convenient for COVID-19 patients to participate in contact tracing.

New initiatives include communicating through text message to avoid unknown phone calls during that can appear as a call from a telemarketer.

“What we and other states are doing is looking at how we can be more effective,” Dr. Billioux said.

“How do we engage with people to help them understand the value of contact tracing and help ensure we are getting more valuable information out of it?”

Dr. Billioux and the Governor back contact tracing by saying participating does you and your neighbor a favor.

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