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Coronavirus In Ohio: Contact Tracing Begins To Ramp Up On Local Level

COVID-19 testing machine
Ohio Department of Health
Ohio Department of Health
COVID-19 testing machine

The state is continuing to build up its contact tracing infrastructure through a partnership with local health departments as health officials tout the importance of matching contact tracing with testing to fight the coronavirus.

The Ohio Department of Health says it's helping local health departments conduct contact tracing with staffing, training, IT and communications.

Joanne Pearsol, deputy director of the Ohio Department of Health, says contact tracing is voluntary, not mandatory, but is important to interrupt the chain of infection.

"This is really about protecting people and notifying them that they've been exposed. It's not about keeping a record of where they've been or who they've been with or for how long. It's not about getting in their business it's about protecting health," Pearsol says.

Close contact is defined as coming within six feet of an infected person for longer than 15 minutes.

The state is directing funds to local health departments to hire a total of 1,800 contact tracers.

Andy Chow is a general assignment state government reporter who focuses on environmental, energy, agriculture, and education-related issues. He started his journalism career as an associate producer with ABC 6/FOX 28 in Columbus before becoming a producer with WBNS 10TV.