With the launch this past week of of the COVID-19 Community Tracing Collaborative (CTC) to mitigate the spread of the coronavirus in Massachusetts, our state once again is taking a leading role at this critical time for our nation.
Massachusetts is the first state to invest in an ambitious contact-tracing program, budgeting $44 million to hire 1,000 people. Gov. Charlie Baker said the goal of the program is to enable state health officials to identify pockets of infection as they emerge and thereby prevent infected people from spreading the virus further.
If successful, the program will provide government leaders in the coming weeks with the data they need to make meaningful decisions about relaxing our current strict social-distancing measures in order to reopen our economy.
The collaborative effort with Partners In Health will focus on tracing the contacts of confirmed positive COVID-19 patients and supporting individuals who are in quarantine. It will augment the efforts already underway from the state’s COVID-19 Response Command Center to assist the contact tracing being done by local boards of health.
Partners In Health will provide staff and contribute technical expertise in community tracing. The Commonwealth Health Insurance Connector Authority will provide a virtual support center and maintain connectivity, while the Massachusetts Department of Health will manage data. Accenture, a professional services company, and Salesforce, a global leader in customer relationship management, are implementing support center capabilities.
We applaud this extraordinary joint effort between state government and private entities. In addition, we urge all of our residents who receive a call from CTC workers to cooperate fully with the program so that our communities can begin to take the offensive against this terrible pandemic.