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Wednesday, February 21st, 2024

Massachusetts governor launches contact tracing initiative to mitigate the spread of COVID-19

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Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker announced the creation of the COVID-19 Community Tracing Collaborative (CTC) to mitigate the spread of the coronavirus in Massachusetts.

This collaboration with Partners In Health focuses on tracing the contacts of confirmed positive COVID-19 patients and supporting individuals in quarantine. Further, it builds on the efforts already underway from the state’s COVID-19 Response Command Center to leverage public health college students to augment the contact tracing being done by local boards of health.

The collaborative will be done in combination with the state’s efforts to increase testing.

“Enhanced contact tracing capability is another powerful tool for public health officials and health care providers in the battle against COVID-19,” Baker said. “Massachusetts is the only state in the nation implementing this type of programming, and this collaborative tracing initiative will break new ground as we work together to slow the spread of COVID-19.”

Partners In Health will provide staff and contribute technical expertise in community tracing. The Commonwealth Health Insurance Connector Authority (CCA) will provide a virtual support center and maintain connectivity, while the Massachusetts Department of Health (DPH) will manage data, guides, and processes. Further, Accenture, a professional services company, and Salesforce, a global leader in CRM, are implementing support center capabilities for the CTC’s tracing purposes.

“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. “I encourage residents to cooperate with the operation so that we can further slow the spread of COVID-19 in Massachusetts.”

As part of this initiative, nearly 1,000 contact tracers will be deployed throughout the state to connect with COVID-19 patients and their contacts.