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Linn County partially attributes rise in cases to contact tracing woes

While most of their cases are coming from more metro areas -- Todd Noble, an administrator with Linn County Health Department said the recent rise in cases the county has seen is the responsibility of the whole county.

Posted: Oct 19, 2020 7:04 PM

LINN COUNTY, Ore. -- While most of their cases are coming from more metro areas -- Todd Noble, an administrator with Linn County Health Department, said the recent spike in cases the county has seen is the responsibility of the whole county.

"We've been living this nightmare year collectively and people get sick and tired and fatigued and letting their guard down. We are clearly into a second wave and so that's what we're seeing and we're seeing it all over the place," he said.

He added that those in rural communities might feel a false sense of security.

"I think sometimes there's a sense of protection because you are a rural community - I think it's a little easy to let your guard down more."

Linn County since January 1 has had nearly 574 positive tests per 100,000 people -- to put this into perspective, Lane County has had 530. Couple that with a less than ideal contact tracing rate -- officials fear the watchful eye of Kate Brown watch list might soon be a reality.

Linn County Commissioner Will Tucker says their contact tracers sometimes strike out 50-60% of the time.

"We are having trouble with people who are reaching a point where they're not wanting to respond to us," he said.

He added that it's important because it's less about helping someone already infected and more about preventing the spread from going anywhere else.

He also said there is no threat that you will be reported to the authorities or immigration, a fear of some.

"I know people are exhausted from disaster to disaster, but it is still something that we need to do," said Tucker.

Answering that call helps the health department and the community.

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