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Tracking coronavirus cases proves difficult amid new surge

 Contact tracer Kandice Childress, right, works at Harris County Public Health contact tracing facility, Thursday, June 25, 2020, in Houston. Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said Wednesday that the state is facing a "massive outbreak" in the coronavirus pandemic and that some new local restrictions may be needed to protect hospital space for new patients. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
Contact tracer Kandice Childress, right, works at Harris County Public Health contact tracing facility, Thursday, June 25, 2020, in Houston. Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said Wednesday that the state is facing a "massive outbreak" in the coronavirus pandemic and that some new local restrictions may be needed to protect hospital space for new patients. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip) (KY3)
Published: Jun. 29, 2020 at 11:33 AM CDT
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Health departments around the U.S. that are using contact tracers to contain coronavirus outbreaks are scrambling to bolster their ranks amid a surge of cases and resistance to cooperation from those infected or exposed.

With too few trained contact tracers to handle soaring caseloads, one hard-hit Arizona county is relying on National Guard members to pitch in. In Louisiana, people who have tested positive typically wait more than two days to respond to health officials — giving the disease crucial time to spread.

Contact tracing tracks people who test positive and anyone they've come in contact with. It was challenging even when stay-at-home orders were in place, but it's exponentially more difficult now.

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