State to sign with company to improve contact tracing, health officer says

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Published: Jul. 1, 2020 at 10:16 AM CDT
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By Lydia Nusbaum | June 29, 2020 at 8:42 PM CDT - Updated June 29 at 10:46 PM

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - State Health Officer Dr. Scott Harris said the state plans to sign a contract with a company to provide more contact tracers.

Contact tracers help notify people if they’ve been near someone who has been exposed to the coronavirus.

Harris said the state had more than 100 contact tracers, but it is not enough.

“We’re still not able to keep up, you know, our case numbers are increasing in most of the state,” he said. “So we need more than we have right now for sure.”

Harris said they have not announced which company they are partnering with. He said it would provide a couple hundred full-time callers to contact people if they have been exposed to the virus.

“But the real advantage of contract work is that we can sort of dial it up and down as we need to,” he explained. “So if we have a big surge, then these companies will have the ability to add capacity.”

Harris said the need for improved contact tracing becomes even more important as cases begin to rise and as the colder weather approaches.

Harris said negotiations are wrapping up before they announce the name of the company and how much it would cost. He said the CARES Act money would be used to pay for it.

Copyright 2020 WSFA 12 News. All rights reserved.

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