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Butte County Public Health faces limited resources amid case spike

Butte County Public Health said it doesn't have the staffing to alert everyone who has had a known exposure to coronavirus.

Posted: Dec 15, 2020 10:19 PM
Updated: Dec 16, 2020 11:47 AM

CHICO, Calif. - Butte County Public Health announced Monday it does not have the staffing to alert everyone who has had a known exposure to coronavirus. What does that mean for the county?

Action News Now spoke with a couple of members from Butte County Public Health and they reassured us that there are ways to still contain the spread.

Monday afternoon, Butte County Public Health stated that due to the increase in cases in the county, contact tracers have gotten a higher workload.

Meaning, if someone was in contact with a positive case, they might not hear from public health.

Action News Now spoke with Lisa Almaguer, the county's public health communications manager, to find out what this might mean for people in Butte.

She said, "If you have tested positive, if you have been exposed to someone with COVID, you should not wait or expect to be contacted by public health. You should take immediate action to stop the spread of COVID."

However, not everyone in the community is concerned.

Shelley Townsell, a resident who isn't concerned, said, "Contact tracing is good when you're in a large city. This is kind of small. When you're in a group of people here, pretty much the word gets out pretty quickly. So I'm not sure contact tracing is the only way."

Larry Root, another county resident, is more worried about something else.

He said, "I'm concerned about whether or not everyone wears a mask at all times, especially indoors or in public spaces, then I am about contact tracing."

While there may be a lack in contact tracers, Butte County Public Health says there are ways to prevent the spread, like wearing a mask.

Monica Soderstrom, the county's community health director, said, "As long as they take personal responsibility for doing all that they can and then learn from what they can, I think that we can do this as a community."

Butte County Public Health said that their contact tracing priority will be given to people who are at an increased risk of complications or are a healthcare worker.

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