How many contact tracers are battling coronavirus in Oregon right now? State can’t say. –

State officials in April calculated that at least 631 contact tracers would be needed to identify and speak to close contacts of people with identified infections.

The state used that figure to create county-level staffing targets. County officials submitted reopening plans. And Brown on May 15 allowed some counties to move forward despite missing staffing benchmarks, so long as local officials said they could beef up the workforce if needed.

But one month later, as identified daily infections reach an all-time high statewide, the Oregon Health Authority cannot provide basic statistics about how many tracers are currently working.

State health officials, after more than a week of questioning from The Oregonian/OregonLive and a public records request, said they are in the process of surveying counties and expect to have results by the end of the week.

This lack of transparency and/or competency is not new or, at this point, surprising.

Meanwhile, Oregon just reported 178 new cases of COVID-19, its highest daily total yet.