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Montana's COVID-19 surge is delaying some county health departments' contact tracing efforts, decreasing the strategy's utility and forcing adjustments

In Montana's largest county, Yellowstone, the public health officer said his workers are facing a backlog of more than 760 new COVID-19 cases waiting for contact tracing and case investigation.

Nearly 300 miles away, Roosevelt County's public health officer says her office receives calls from people who have recently tested positive, but haven't yet been contacted by a public health worker.

And in Lewis and Clark County, public health officials say they have scaled back their contract tracing efforts because of the surge in cases, in some cases relying on residents who have tested positive to...

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