Massachusetts is stepping up its efforts to trace cases of the coronavirus with a first-in-the-nation tracking initiative.
Gov. Charlie Baker announced Friday that a COVID-19 community tracing collaborative between the state and the nonprofit Partners In Health will be up and running by the end of the month.
“There is tracing happening now, but this program that we’re talking about today is a much more robust, targeted approach that we have, to be highly effective at slowing the spread of this highly infectious disease,” Baker said in a news conference. “It’s going to be a big part of our ongoing effort to manage and fight our way through COVID-19.”
Baker said Massachusetts is the only state in the country putting together a tracking program like this. A virtual call center staffed with about 1,000 contact tracers will contact coronavirus patients to learn about their recent activities and make sure they are not spreading the virus.
“The call center will get contact information for as many people as possible, that they have come in contact with, and potentially exposed,” Baker said. “People will be contacted and informed, so that they can stay healthy, isolate when appropriate, and prevent further spread.”