Expanded contact tracing to begin tomorrow

June 11, 2020

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (June 11, 2020) – Lacuna Health, the Louisville-based company hired to conduct COVID-19 contract tracing services with the Louisville Metro Department of Public Health and Wellness (LMPHW), will begin its work tomorrow. 

“Widespread COVID-19 testing and expanded contact tracing are how we plan to ‘box in’ the virus as we loosen social distancing protocols and until a vaccine is developed and available,” said Dr. Sarah Moyer director of LMPHW and the city’s chief health strategist. “The better we do at testing and contact tracing, the more successful our reopening will be.”

Dr. Moyer outlined the contact tracing process saying, “We will call those who have tested positive for COVID-19 to ask how they are feeling, give them instructions on how to stay safe at home, and get them help they need it.We will also ask about people they were in close contact with. Contact tracers will reach out to these people to let them know they may have been exposed so they, too, can quarantine and protect themselves, their family and others from potentially getting the virus.” 

Dr. Moyer also emphasized that protecting people’s privacy and confidentiality is important. “We don’t ask you for your social security number or any credit card information. We don’t give your close contacts your name unless you give us permission,” she said. “We don’t share your information with law enforcement or immigration officials.”

Karen Handmaker, who is overseeing contact tracing for LMPHW, said that Lacuna has already hired and trained the first “class” of 25 of the 80-100 people that it will eventually bring on board. The second class of 20 people will begin training on June 15, 2020. 

“Our contact tracers are largely from Louisville and the surrounding area, representing a diversity of backgrounds, languages and professional experience. Lacuna has so far received over 2,600 applications for these positions,” said Handmaker.

Handmaker also noted that when contact tracers call individuals, “LOU-HEALTH” will display on caller ID.

 

Testing

Bill Altman, who is overseeing and coordinating COVID-19 testing for LMPHW announced that COVID-19 testing opportunities in Louisville are expanding.

A full list of testing sites can be found here.

“It’s important to remember as we move forward that African Americans and other people of color have been disproportionately impacted by disease and death during the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Dr. Moyer. “So, it’s important that as we test, we make testing available and accessible to communities of color and that, as we do contact tracing, we do it a way that is compatible with the needs and sensibilities of the community.”

 

Business compliance inspections

Connie Mendel, deputy director for LMPHW, has received 3,365 COVID-19 related complaints since March 23, 2020.  As LMPHW staff return to their regular duties of inspecting restaurants and public facilities and as they are now examining reopening plans for various businesses and institutions, some COVID-19 complaints will be referred to partnering agencies such as the Kentucky Office of the Inspector General and the Kentucky Labor Cabinet.

 

Daily COVID-19 numbers

 

  • 2,972 confirmed COVID-19 cases in Louisville
    • 7 new                              
  • 189 deaths
    • 9 new
      • 68-year-old male
      • Two 69-year-old males
      • 74-year-old male
      • 77-year-old female
      • 83-year-old female
      • 87-year-old male
      • 88-year-old female
      • 89-year-old female
    • 1,985 recovered
      • 53 new

Race

  • Confirmed
    • 57% White                         
    • 31% Black                           
    • 6% Asian                             

                              

  • Deceased
    • 64% White                         
    • 30% Black                           
    • 5% Asian                                                             

Ethnicity

  • Confirmed
    • 17% Hispanic/Latino                               
  • Deceased
    • 3% Hispanic/Latino                         

                       

 

Currently, 3 members of LMPD, Louisville Fire, Metro EMS, Metro Corrections and the Sheriff’s Office are off-duty due to COVID-19:

  • 2 are off with positive tests and in self-isolation.
  • 1 is off and quarantined awaiting confirmation of testing

 

Positive test numbers for first responders/public safety since the incident began:

  • 48 positive tests
  • 46 have fully recovered and returned to duty

 

Metro Corrections inmate data:

  • 1,017 inmates have been tested
  • 10 positives
  • 0 tests are pending