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Immediately after being notified that she tested positive for COVID-19 last month, Jennifer Burrill began making a list of everywhere she’d been and everyone she’d come into contact with since March 3. That’s the date she first began experiencing a sickness, similar to seasonal allergies, that she now worries was actually the virus.
The 48-year-old public defender and vice president of the New Mexico Criminal Defense Lawyers Association came up with 74 names, which she provided to the New Mexico Department of Health.
But the DOH epidemiologists conducted active contact tracing and monitoring only of people who had a close interaction with her between March 18 and the time she began home isolation after experiencing a vicious coughing fit three days later, according to a letter sent to the boss at the Law Office of the Public Defender. That was hardly anyone, Burrill said.