Thousands Of Iowans Rejected COVID Contact Tracers’ Calls, KCRG Finds

About 30% of COVID-19 positive Iowans rejected state attempts to contact trace during a virus surge last fall, new data shows.

KCRG-obtained findings through a public records request from the state reveals that 24,166 Iowans either refused or ignored contact tracers’ attempts to perform case investigations in November while 52,876 completed interviews.

Contact tracers attempted calls multiple times, KCRG found. November saw the highest spikes in positive cases throughout the state. Iowa’s record 7,867 positive COVID tests were reported on November 9.

KCRG also learned that 8,146 cases were never investigated by contact tracers because certain counties were only looking into certain subsets of the population during surges.

“These counties, including Linn County, couldn’t call everyone with a known exposure that month because they were too many people to call,” reported Ethan Stein of KCRG.

Another 2,000 cases were not investigated because of reporting delays from labs where a positive test would be reported 28 days after a test was performed.


by Isabella Murray
Posted 3/11/21

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