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Brazos County COVID-19 case investigators working on confirming back logged cases

Texas A&M COVID-19 Operations Center.
Texas A&M COVID-19 Operations Center.(kbtx)
Published: Sep. 8, 2021 at 6:09 PM CDT
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BRYAN, Texas (KBTX) -The latest COVID-19 surge and mandatory testing at Texas A&M are overwhelming cases investigators.

“The cases that we do investigate, those are the ones that are reported on our dashboard, and unfortunately just in an eight-hour workday, we can’t get as many done as we would like,” said Mary Parrish with the Brazos County Health District.

As of Sept. 1, the health district began reporting “Raw” COVID-19 numbers. These are to show the number of positive tests sent into the health district but have yet to be confirmed by an investigation.

“What we wanted to do was be honest with the community and figure out a new way to report so that the community has a sense of what’s going on,” said Chad Wootton Texas A&M’s COVID-19 Operations Center Manager.

Wednesday the health district reported 2,959 raw cases and 165 investigated cases.

Wootton says hiring back staff will help them investigate all raw cases.

“We downsized to about a dozen of folks over the summer, really shrunk that back just due to the evidence of the virus as well as people’s summer travel and commitments. Today we’re on our way back to about 70 total,” said Wootton.

Wootton says they’re confident they will get all cases to investigate and less in-depth contact tracing will help them get it done faster.

“Contact tracing is really evolving more into this conversation around personal responsibility,” said Wootton. “What we’re going to say to them is, to remember to test, testing is available, and remember to monitor if you see symptoms.”

The more information they know when a case is reported the better.

“It’s about answering the call. It’s about sharing your information and letting us help complete the case investigation and doing our best to stay ahead of the surges when they happen,” said Wootton.

“If we get a case that has a lot of information from the doctor, typically we do not call on those cases but if we get a case that just has a person’s name and phone number and basic demographics then we do want to investigate those cases,” said Parrish.

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