Madison County relying on you to help contact trace because of surge in cases


RICHMOND, Ky. (WTVQ)-The Madison County Health Department says, because of a surge in coronavirus cases, it’ll be relying on you to help with contract tracing efforts.

The department reported its highest one-day case total this week, 144 confirmed cases as of November 16th, more than doubling the previous highest one-day count of 71 August 27th.

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According to the department, that is straining public health resources.

“No local health department can keep up the pace along with the increasing number of cases and contacts,” said Madison County Health Department Director Nancy Crewe. “Even with addition of more contact tracers and disease investigators to our team, the numbers of cases are growing at such a rate as to overwhelm our capabilities. Accordingly, MCHD is adjusting our priorities for case investigations and contact tracing in line with guidance issued by the Kentucky Department for Public Health.”

The department says that means contact tracers will focus on finding healthcare workers, first responders, vulnerable populations, areas where a lot of people live close together, and events where people may have been exposed.

If the health department calls you, a contact tracer might ask you to help by notifying any close contacts that don’t fit those categories they’re focusing on.

“Rapidly identifying and isolating confirmed cases remains top priority for MCHD to mitigate the spread. However, as cases continue to accelerate, there may be a delay between the time a person is notified of a positive result and the issuance of an isolation order from MCHD. Individuals should not wait on a call from the health department to begin isolating or quarantining at home,” the health department said.

Crewe says you should protect yourself:

*     Wear a face mask in public

*     Wash your hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.

*     Maintain a distance of at least 6 feet between yourself and other people

*     Avoid large gatherings and crowded places.

*     Avoid close contact with people who are sick.

*     Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.

*     Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue or your elbow, not with your hands.

*     Disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a household cleaning spray or wipe.



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Veronica Jean Seltzer joins ABC 36 as Anchor/Reporter. On most weekdays, you will see her reporting the news. VJ hails from a small horse farm outside New York City and most recently comes from South Bend, Indiana where she reported for the CBS and Fox affiliates. VJ holds a Master of Science in Journalism degree from Columbia University and a Bachelor of Arts degree from Tufts University. Her passion for journalism runs deep. It began as she studied graffiti as an ancient form of communication in Athens, Greece. While a student journalist in Morocco, she learned her most important journalistic lesson: good stories are about people. VJ loves life in and around Lexington. She feels most at home among horses and a diverse community of fascinating people. She enjoys reporting during the week and on the weekend she strives to bring her neighbors the news that matters most to them. VJ enjoys going to neighborhood events, exploring, horseback riding, skiing, sailing, and good movies. Look for her out and about in the community! VJ invites you to reach out to her with story ideas or just to say hello! Find her on Facebook at Veronica Jean Seltzer ABC 36, tweet her @VJS_ABC36, or email her at She looks forward to hearing from you!