Gov. Baker announced today that a non-profit group working with the state is hiring 1,000 "contact tracers" to interview Covid-19 patients and find out all the people they may have come in contact with to follow them and get them testing and care if needed.
The first-in-the-nation system is based on models that have been used for decades to try to contain disease outbreaks, for example, in 2014 with Ebola in West Africa.
The non-profit Partners in Health will hire and oversee the tracers for the new Massachusetts COVID-19 Community Tracing Collaborative, while the state Department of Public Health will maintain the database of contact and create guides for tracers to follow. The Massachusetts Health Insurance Connector Authority will build a call center for the tracers and their data collection - with help from consulting firm Accenture and Salesforce, a company that specializes in tracking people contacted by an organization.
"This is a key effort in the Commonwealth’s work to slow the spread of the virus by adding capacity to reach individuals who have come in close contact with individuals are confirmed positive for COVID-19," Health and Human Services Secretary Marylou Sudders said.