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‘COVID shame’ keeping people from talking to contact tracers

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Coronavirus COVID19

MADISON (WKOW) -- Contact tracing is one way to stop the spread of the virus.

But tracers are dealing an obstacle, a phenomenon called "COVID shame" -- people feeling ashamed that they got the virus, possibly because they were doing something they know they shouldn't have and who are not willing to talk about it.

UW Health Chief Quality Officer Doctor Jeff Pothof says it's important to be honest with the contact tracers.

"Quite frankly, I think we need to reserve any judgement because we are trying to fight a public health emergency and you've got to be honest with contact tracers and let them know what's going on so that they can help other people."

Public health officials in Dane County say they can't even get in touch with about one-third of people who test positive right now.

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