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Coronavirus Tracing a Tough Task

The state set records again this week for new coronavirus cases and COVID-19-related hospitalizations, and some local officials reported having trouble getting people to cooperate in finding those who may have been exposed.

Several counties reported that some people won’t provide complete – or any – information about their close contacts, making it more difficult to trace the spread of the virus.

A state privacy law allows people to refuse to do so.

In Shawnee County, at least 10% of the exposed people contacted refuse to talk to investigators seeking information about their close contacts.

Shawnee County has seen a handful of cases in which infected people refuse to quarantine, though it typically resolves the issue by having a law enforcement officer go to their homes with a signed order.

Some people may hesitate to cooperate because they worry about having to take two weeks off work to quarantine.


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