Shawnee County Health Department hires contact tracing company to relieve employees


TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNT) – Shawnee County health officials don’t know where nearly 50% of people who have the virus got it.

That’s why they’re getting help with contact tracing from a company in Missouri.

Bio-Defense Network specializes in contact tracing for coronavirus cases.

Contact tracing helps to track down where someone got the virus and who else may have gotten it, so that they can be put into quarantine and help limit the spread.

The health department said it was fairly easy to trace cases in the beginning but now, their staff is overwhelmed and can’t keep up with all of the new cases.

“These people, they were pulled from jobs to do pandemic related things, when the core public health functions don’t go away. And so we are able to take that burden off of them,” John Anthony with Bio-Defense Network said.

He said people do have the right to refuse the contact tracing interview but they are still legally required to stay in isolation.

That order is delivered by law enforcement if the person can’t be reached.

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