September 18, 2020 at 12:17 AM EDT
Contact-tracing challenges hurt D.C.’s efforts to control virus’s spread, health officials say
A lack of information from some D.C. residents who test positive for the novel coronavirus is hurting the city’s efforts to corral the virus’s spread, officials said Thursday.
Six months after the first confirmed case in the nation’s capital, the city released new statistics demonstrating challenges in contact tracing and containing the coronavirus. While infections in D.C. are far below their peak, officials say those who become infected are sometimes hesitant to provide details that could prevent future transmissions.
Figures released Thursday indicate the city has reached three-quarters of newly infectious people for interviews about their activities and social exposures, but 58 percent were interviewed within three days of a positive test. Speedy interviews are essential to identify people exposed to the virus before they could spread it, experts say.
By Fenit Nirappil and Ovetta Wiggins