SAN ANTONIO – The San Antonio Metropolitan Health District continues to see the number of positive COVID-19 cases grow.
Dr. Anita Kurian, assistant director of Metro Health, said tracing the virus has been a daunting task.
“When you have a community-wide transmission like this, sometimes it becomes difficult to pinpoint and exactly identify the source,” said Kurian.
She said, on average, 20 to 40 cases are reported daily. Each new case that is reported launches a new investigation to learn who came into contact with the infected person.
“It’s extremely tedious, very time-intensive,” Kurian said.
Metro Health has 50 to 70 people working on contact tracing, including about 20 medical students who underwent a week of training.
“We have to have folks who are detail-oriented,” Kurian said.
Contact tracing begins by reaching out to the person who came in contact with someone who tested positive for the virus. They are first asked if they are feeling symptomatic and then are required to quarantine for two weeks.
“If they are symptomatic, they are recommended testing, and then the process begins again,” Kurian said.
Kurian said Metro Health identifies one to three contacts per case, but she added that they hadn’t seen a sustained transmission from those contacts to anyone else.
She said the city’s emergency orders have proved to be beneficial.
Kurian said if people don’t follow social distancing guidelines, things could quickly change.
“When folks tend to relax a little bit, we tend to have a second peak. Stay home if you’re sick,” she said.