Ravalli County looking for help with COVID-19 contact tracing

Ravalli County Board of Health
Posted at 4:36 PM, Oct 14, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-14 18:37:34-04

HAMILTON — Seriously concerned, but not alarmed is the feeling among Ravalli County leaders trying to address a COVID-19 spike leading to 100 active cases.

Ravalli County's dramatic growth in coronavirus cases is forcing school closures and leaving health providers in a situation where they're feeling "overwhelmed".

Ravalli County Health Officer Tiffany Webber told the Board of Health on Wednesday afternoon she doesn't "know the shape of the curve" but that "it looks like the upslope" of the climb in cases she's worried about for months.

Commissioner Jeff Burrows believes the per-capita cases still show Ravalli County below infection rates in most counties and Webber didn't advocate more restrictions, but more "personal responsibility".

Right now, the county is scrambling to complete contact tracing after falling behind last weekend.

“It's not good enough that people aren't getting called when they should be called. Every person who gets a positive test who went to their own physician or their own place and got evaluated and tested deserves a call from us," Webber said.

"We're not trying to penalize anyone or hurt anyone or break anything down. We don't shut things down. We're just trying to give people the information to take care of themselves and their families," she added.

Webber says the county is ready to hire licensed nurses right away to help with contact tracing and is even looking at training Emergency Medical Technicians from local fire departments to help.