Delaware announces coronavirus contract tracing initiative

Updated 5/13/2020 7:58 AM

WILMINGTON, Del. -- Delaware plans to hire about 200 workers to help trace the contacts of those who test positive for the coronavirus, state officials announced.

Delaware was set to partner with the National Opinion Research Center at the University of Chicago to build the new statewide contact tracing program, Gov. John Carney said in a statement Tuesday.


'To safely reopen our economy, we need to be able to quickly identify positive COVID-19 cases and reach out to those residents who may have been exposed," Carney said. "This contact tracing program brings us one step closer to returning Delaware to a new normal.'

Under the program, those who test positive for the virus would receive a call from a case investigator who would ask the patient for a list of their known contacts, according to the plan. Tracers would then then reach out to those contacts to help them quarantine and arrange resources, as well as get tested for the virus in some cases.

The state's Department of Public Health director said the practice is supposed to reduce transmission of the virus.

The National Opinion Research Center also partnered with Maryland, and the two states agreed to share information to monitor the virus's spread across state lines, officials added.

Delaware also announced that 100 members of the National Guard began training Monday to assist in contract tracing initiatives.

Applications for contract tracing positions would be posted 'in the coming weeks," according to the statement.


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