As the COVID-19 pandemic roars on, we continue to see number rise in the Cedar Valley, with Black Hawk County also seeing large rises in case numbers. As a result, you may have - or may soon - get a call from a county employee who wants to chat.

The Waterloo/Cedar Falls Courier reports there are nine contact tracers working long hours to track the spread of COVID-19 county and statewide. As a result, people receiving the calls are doing what most people would do if a number pops up they don't recognize, they're likely going to... ignore it. Right? Interestingly enough, my wife got a TEXT claiming to be from Black Hawk County, needing info (a link was included) and she simply passed it off as spam and deleted it. But the Courier article goes on to explain that the tracers are sending texts in some cases, since they're hitting dead ends with their phone calls. All the individuals making the calls are part-time employees, and you may receive a call (or text) from one of them at an odd hour.

If you suspect the call you're getting is spam, it certainly could still be. But, if it's from a local number, it might be worth answering. The contact tracers are not just fluent in English, they also speak Spanish, Lingala, Swahili, and French. In case you're curious, a contact tracer's job is to track the close contacts of a person with a communicable disease. In this case, COVID-19.

As of it's last update, the Black Hawk County COVID-19 page has the counties death total from COVID at 98 with over 5,500 positive cases. On the bright side, a huge majority of those infected in the county, 4,442, have recovered.

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