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State Nears Contact Tracing Capacity, Governor Urges Cooperation

AP Photo/Ben Lonergan

Kentucky continues to ramp up its contact tracing and disease tracking initiatives, but the efforts are receiving pushback from some quarters.

The state currently employs about 1,240 contact tracers and Mark Carter with the Cabinet for Health and Family Services says there is still space to fill.

"We are not quite at our total budgeted capacity," he reported. "We have roughly 120, 130 additional spots that we could fill and we continue to do that."

But cooperation with public health officials isn't always a guarantee, and Gov. Andy Beshear directly addressed those who are objecting to the process.

"If you are threatening a local health department worker, if you are hiring an attorney to threaten them because you don't think somebody should have to be quarantined, if you are blowing them up and calling them a liar on Facebook, you're being a jerk," the governor said. "It's pure and simple. Don't be a jerk."

New COVID-19 cases remain elevated but have leveled off somewhat in recent days, with 776 reported Wednesday along with eight additional deaths. The state's positivity rate remained just under 4 percent.     

Josh James fell in love with college radio at Western Kentucky University's student station, New Rock 92 (now Revolution 91.7). After working as a DJ and program director, he knew he wanted to come home to Lexington and try his hand in public radio.
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