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Shift Money From Contact Tracing To Relief For Kentucky Businesses? This Top Republican Says Yes

AP Photo/Steven Senne

Kentucky's leading Senate Republican is calling for the state to halt its contract with contact tracers as the pandemic surges past the system's capacity.

Despite a growing contact tracing staff of over 1,600 that has reached out to more than 47,000 people about potential COVID-19 exposure, health officials acknowledge Kentucky's contact tracers' mission has changed from one of containment to mitigation.

"[The virus] hasn't been contained, but we can limit it and we can do an effective job of doing that over the coming weeks and months until we get a vaccine deployed," Mark Carter with the Cabinet for Health and Family Services reported this week.

But GOP Senate President Robert Stivers is advocating that the state reallocate the money it's spending on contact tracing to struggling businesses, which have dealt with capacity reductions, closures, and quarantined staff.

With soaring case numbers in Kentucky, contact tracers have had to limit the number and type of contacts they reach, asking others to notify their contacts on their own.

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.