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Virus surge places strain on Pennsylvania's contact tracers

Pennsylvania’s contact tracing system is under strain as the explosion of new COVID-19 cases overtakes health workers’ ability to keep up. Public health experts say it’s important to interview people who have tested positive for the virus as soon as possible so their “close contacts,” or the people they exposed, can be identified and quarantined. The state Health Department’s goal is to contact each new COVID-19 patient within 24 hours of a positive test. That’s become virtually impossible as infections surge out of control, even with the addition of hundreds of contact tracers. The city of Allentown says positive test results are coming in “faster than staff can keep up."

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