City of Tyler adding resources for contact tracing, more testing

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TYLER, Texas (KETK) – East Texas is following the trend of our state, seeing a steep increase in COVID-19 cases over the past week.

City officials in Tyler are discussing ways to ramp up resources as testing supplies fell short last week.

The demand is perhaps greater than what was first expected.

The amount of people going to take a coronavirus test ended up overwhelming the system in place.

Testing sites were full.

Those results have already come in and our numbers spiked from it.

Record numbers were seen throughout the week.

The city is now looking to change the way tests are administered after lines of people outside were seen not social distancing.

Now, the city will look to implement more drive up testing rather than walk up testing after seeing such a high demand of people wanting to get tested.

Some sites, like one Tyler church, even closed down early because they ran out of tests.

“They actually ran out of testing materials each day so the testing site wasn’t able to get fully utilized by everyone who came in to get tested. That is still a major concern and something we’re working on to make sure we have test sites available.”

Ed Broussard, city manager

City leaders are also putting more focus on contact tracing.

Since there are many positive cases, several departments are working together to figure out where people may have contracted it and where all they have been since.

“Just because of the size of the numbers coming in and the ability to make contact with each case, and to learn who they’ve been in contact with, we’ve been able to assist NET Health, along with the fire and police departments.”

The city is stepping up its resources as numbers rise. Now, more efficient testing sites and better contact tracing techniques. This comes as the city works to defend the community from this virus.

Officials are asking the public to only go take a test if you are sick or showing symptoms. They believe that will help with the system being overwhelmed.

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