Smith County District Attorney’s Office dedicates investigators to aid local health officials in fighting COVID-19

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SMITH COUNTY, Texas (KETK) – The Smith County District Attorney’s Office is joining with the Joint Emergency Operation Center by dedicating investigators to aid local health officials in combating the coronavirus.

“As of today, I am dedicating five of my seven investigators to assist the Emergency Operations Center in combating the COVID-19 outbreak,” Smith County District Attorney Jacob Putman said. “These five investigators will aid in contact tracing to help our public health system determine who may be at risk for infection.”

When a person tests positive for COVID-19, they are interviewed and asked about recent activities and who they have come in contact with. Those people, in turn, are also contacted and asked about their activities. These types of investigations are called contact tracing, according to the Smith County District Attorney’s Office. The faster contact tracing can occur, the better chance officials have of preventing the spread by people who are infected.

The Smith County Sheriff’s Office and other local law enforcement agencies have previously dedicated manpower to aid in the investigations, but as the number of cases increase, additional personnel were needed to stay on top of efforts to combat the coronavirus.

“During this trying time, our office has remained open, and we are still working to see that justice is done in our community,” Putman said. “While these investigators are assisting in our county’s response to the current crisis, the rest of our staff will continue to fight to keep our community safe from those who have broken the law.”

“As your elected District Attorney, I want to thank the public for their understanding and patience as we work to find the best solutions to keep each other safe,” Putman said. “I also want to thank Judge Moran for his leadership and careful consideration of the situation in Smith County. I will continue to lend any support necessary to help combat this problem and ensure the health and safety of our community and our families.”

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