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Hundreds of contact tracers, case investigators working to help limit the spread of COVID-19 in Bexar County, San Antonio

Contact tracers identify people who may have been exposed to a COVID-19 patient

SAN ANTONIO – The Alamodome is now home to hundreds of case investigators, working to limit the spread of COVID-19 in Bexar County.

Right now, there are about 200 workers on the city’s COVID-19 Response Team, but the space has the capacity to accommodate up to 250.

“So, it all starts with the case investigation. So, any time we get a positive report on an individual that has tested positive for COVID, we call that individual and do an investigation,” said Rita Espinoza, chief epidemiologist at Metro Health.

Investigators ask about the disease, what signs and symptoms they’ve had and who they have been in close contact with.

The next step is contact tracing. Contact tracers call those contacts to notify them about the possible exposure. They monitor the contacts for 14 days to see whether they develop symptoms of the coronavirus.

“We are collecting info from them about how the epidemic is spreading thorough our community and they are the most important source of information to help us stop the spread... so we really need people to pick up that phone and help us with that process,” said Jenny Hixon, of the COVID-19 Response Team.

If you do test positive for the coronavirus and potentially exposed anyone, your information is confidential. That means your name is not given to anyone on your list of exposure.

Metro Health said, to date, it had a total of 116 case investigators and 12 contact tracers. In August, 50 UT Health contractors will be trained to conduct investigations, according to a Metro Health spokeswoman.

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