Contact tracing ramping up yet again
Another sign COVID is not going away
THE STATE’S CONTACT tracing effort is ramping up again in the midst of a resurgence in COVID-19 cases.
The program was scheduled to shut down in September but instead the contract with the operator, the nonprofit Cambridge-based Partners in Health, is being extended through the end of the year. The number of contract tracers, currently at 130, is also being increased by as much as 300.
The extension is another sign the COVID crisis is not going away. In recent days, the number of new cases in Massachusetts has risen sharply. New daily cases were in the double digits through most of June and early July and then hit triple digits in mid-July. On Monday, the Baker administration reported 2,054 new cases (presumably for Saturday, Sunday, and Monday), 883 on Tuesday, and 962 on Wednesday.Partners in Health works with local boards of health across the state to track down those who have been infected with the coronavirus and those they have come in contact with in an effort to stop the spread of the disease. The state’s contract with the operation has repeatedly been extended and the size of the workforce has expanded and shrunk in tune with the virus through much of 2020 and 2021.
The statement said the operation’s contract with the state “will be extended through the end of the calendar year and will make staffing adjustments accordingly in response to demand.”