TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN) — "Unfortunately, we still do have a lot of cases," Matthew Christenberry, COVID-19 Contact Tracing Program Manager at the Pima County Health Department.
Christenberry says that while vaccines are important, contact tracing remains a tool to help track the spread of the virus and its variants.
"We don't want those variants spreading in the community," Christenberry said. "We have to really be on top of that and monitoring when those do come into our community."
However, testing numbers are decreasing in Pima County. This creates challenges for the contact tracing team.
"If we don't have testing that's occurring on a wide scale, or if we're not testing that's available, then people when they're sick or exposed won't be able to get tested so then we can't help them and go through that process," Christenberry said.
Part of the contact tracing process includes help from Pima County's Community Resource team. This team aims to help those who are struggling during isolating or quarantining.
"When people do speak to us a lot of times their anxiety is immediately reduced," Clare Aylward, Community Resource Coordinator said. "They get accurate helpful, direct, clear information about their disease, about the resources."
They can provide resources for everything from mental health to groceries.
"Helping people understand and giving them the resources that they can use to improve their lives now and then also just kind of letting them know you can do this," Aylward said.