Alberta sees "concerning" rise in COVID-19 patients ignoring contact tracers

Feb 17 2021, 3:41 pm

Alberta’s top doctor says there’s been a worrisome rise in COVID-19 patients refusing to cooperate with contact tracers in the last two months.

Up until December 2020, about 1% of Alberta’s COVID-19 patients didn’t pick up the phone when contact tracers called them. But that increased to 1.9% in January 2021 and sits at 1.3% so far for February.

More people are also agreeing to speak with contact tracers at first but then refusing to provide contact information for people they’ve seen.

“We’ve seen a concerning rise,” Dr. Deena Hinshaw said, characterizing it as “small but significant.”

Not participating “leaves gaps that COVID-19 is happy to fill,” she said.

She emphasized contact tracing as an important partnership between all Albertans, because it helps prevent transmission to loved ones and strangers alike.

“Trying to ignore COVID-19 and not participating in contact tracing only pushes back the day we can ease restrictions further,” Hinshaw said.

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