Kentucky ramping up contact tracing efforts to combat virus

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) — Gov. Andy Beshear announced plans Monday to ramp up contact tracing in Kentucky to help contain coronavirus cases as the state's economy gradually reopens.

Beshear announced the hiring of veteran health care industry executive Mark Carter as an executive adviser to lead the contact tracing program. Contact tracing is the process of tracking down people in close contact with those testing positive for coronavirus.

The effort's success will depend on Kentuckians' participation when contacted, the governor said. Information provided will be confidential, he said.

“This is our new phase to make sure that when we have a case, we can contain it," he said. “And therefore, we can move forward with our reopening.”

Beshear reported 12 more virus-related deaths in Kentucky the past two days, bringing the state’s death count to at least 346 since the pandemic began.

Beshear reported 260 more coronavirus cases the past two days, raising the statewide total to more than 7,930 cases.

For most people, the new coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough that clear up within weeks. For some, especially older adults and those with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, even death.

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