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CITY: No evidence protests or rallies contributed to COVID-19 case surge

{ }(SBG San Antonio).
(SBG San Antonio).
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SAN ANTONIO - New information from the city says there's no evidence to suggest protests and rallies are linked to the recent spike in Coronavirus cases.

We looked into how contact tracing works and why honesty may help control the spread.

Although the spike in positive coronavirus cases comes on the heels of widespread protests, Memorial Day celebrations and the reopening of local bars, the City of San Antonio says there's no evidence to link the increase to any specific activity.

The form contact tracers use was developed months ago by the Texas Health Department and doesn't specifically ask about protests, family gatherings, or bars.

"We ask about their whereabouts 48 hours before symptom on set and that's where we can start gathering information about their close contacts," said Epidemiologist Christina Carmona said.

Epidemiologists do say information about social outings is gathered through the established questions.

Experts also say 40 percent of all coronavirus cases are caused by community spread; when people congregate without following social distancing guidelines.

That's why participation in contact tracing and providing honest answers is so important.

"We identify everyone the sick individual has come in contact with and we make an attempt to reach those people to provide education and recommendations going forward since they've had an ill contact," Carmona said.

It's especially important for people who have tested positive to answer their phone when a contact tracer calls.

In San Antonio, calls are from a (210) area code, but they could also come from a third party with an outside area code.

In both cases, callers will leave a message.

"When people don't answer their phone that information is lacking and we may be missing educating individuals that may be at risk," Carmona said.

If you get a message from a contact tracer, it's important to call back.

San Antonio currently has about 70 contact tracers.

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The hope is to increase that number with volunteers.

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