Florida Plans To Increase Contact Tracing Capacity

May 29, 2020

The Florida Department of Health says it’s bringing on more contact tracers to keep track of COVID-19 cases, as the state continues to reopen.

Contact tracing is a traditional public health technique that involves detecting positive cases and monitoring their close contacts to keep contagious diseases from spreading – and, in turn, keep economies open.

Dr. Shamarial Roberson, deputy secretary of health for DOH, told WLRN Thursday that the state is working with an external vendor to supply 600 tracers over the next three weeks.

“Since we are a fully integrated public health system, we can move contact tracers across the state to target the areas of need,” she said. “So we’ll watch the numbers and based on the cases we have, we’ll assess our needs and make changes accordingly.”

The vendor is Maximus, a health and human services provider. A company spokesperson confirmed that it’s executing a contract with the state of Florida.

The state of Indiana hired the same company to help with contact tracing efforts.

Dr. Roberson says Florida has recruited more than 1,500 contact tracers, who are typically people with health care and public health backgrounds.