Coronavirus in Kentucky: Seven-month ‘contact tracing’ program to begin in state

Coronavirus in Kentucky

FILE – In this Sunday, May 3, 2020, file photo, Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear speaks during a news conference at the state’s Emergency Operations Center at the Boone National Guard Center in Frankfort, Ky., about the coronavirus pandemic. On Friday, May 8, 2020, a federal court halted Beshear’s temporary ban on mass gatherings from applying to in-person religious services, clearing the way for Sunday church services. (Ryan C. Hermens/Lexington Herald-Leader via AP)

FRANKFORT, KY (WOWK) – Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear announced an expansion of contact tracing throughout the state.

The program, he says, will help contact those who may have come in contact with the coronavirus to help stop the further spread. The information received through the seven-month program will be kept confidential.

Mark Carter has joined the Department of Health and Family Services to help lead the contact tracing program.

Carter says the program will help protect Kentucky families while the state re-opens. Disease investigators will assist those who tested positive trace their steps to help identify those they may have been in contact with. The information will then be given to contact tracers who will contact those who may have been exposed.

The program is a way we can re-build the economy while keeping residents safe, Carter says.

Dr. Steven Stack says the state hopes to hire about 700 people for the program.

The program will only work if all Kentucky residents answer the calls from contact tracers, Beshear says. The program will also only work with “robust testing.” Testing is now available to all Kentucky residents. For more information on testing sites, click here.

“We want you to get tested,” he says.

Beshear confirms Monday’s numbers bring the total of Kentuckians who have recovered from the virus to 2,785.

Beshear confirmed 122 new cases of the coronavirus for Sunday and 138 for Monday, bringing the state’s total to 7,935. The state also reports three new COVID-19 related deaths on Sunday and nine on Monday.

Beshear asked The Bluegrass State to light their homes green in honor of who have died.

Two new children have also been diagnosed with pediatric multi-system inflammatory syndrome, he says. The state will continue to keep a close eye on this situation.

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