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Department of Health: More than 4,000 close contacts of COVID-19 cases identified, monitored through contact tracing efforts across Pennsylvania

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The Pennsylvania Department of Health today announced more than 4,000 close contacts of COVID-19 cases have been identified and monitored to date through the contact tracing efforts of 500 trained contact tracers throughout the state, including 130 state health nurses. These efforts include the support from the six county health departments and four municipal health departments who have primary responsibility for all efforts inside their jurisdiction.

Pennsylvania’s public health professionals are the backbone of contact tracing and are supported by volunteers to supplement their ongoing work and case management technology tools to track, manage and evaluate efforts.

Over 800 contract tracers have volunteered through the ServPA platform, at least 50 through AmeriCorps and hundreds through other community organizations or academic institutions. The state has focused on building partnerships with organizations like AmeriCorps, who are volunteering 50 individuals to perform contact tracing this summer and exploring an additional 100 individuals in the fall. This month, Temple University has plans to onboard 200 students to help with contact tracing.

Across the commonwealth, regional consortiums will work to assess the number of contact tracers needed in each area, help recruit contact tracers and make sure training and education are available, and coordinate information and data to ensure consistency within the region.

In the southwest region, the Jewish Healthcare Foundation helped to quickly mobilize the initial membership of the regional consortium and the department will continue to seek partners in this region and as it continues coordination to begin consortium meetings in the remaining regions: Northwest, Northcentral, Northeast, Southcentral and Southeast.

To ensure a healthy Pennsylvania for all, especially during these unprecedented times, the Wolf administration will only partner with organizations and entities throughout this contact tracing strategy that have an established commitment to non-discriminatory practices.

For information on the state’s contact tracing plan and more about the contact tracing process, visit https://www.health.pa.gov/topics/disease/coronavirus/Pages/Contact-Tracing.aspx. Those who would like to become a contact tracer, as either an individual or a group, can find information to sign up at https://www.health.pa.gov/Pages/default.aspx.

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