States are beginning to scale their own programs
Massachusetts established the country’s first state-wide contact tracing program, the Community Tracing Collaboration (CTC), in early April with a budget of $44m and a plan to hire more than 1,000 contact tracers (job posting) for the state’s 7 million residents. The CTC involves multiple state organizations, including the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (MDPH) and the Commonwealth Health Insurance Connector Authority (CHICA), along with public health organization Partners in Health (PiH) and consulting firm Accenture. The CTC empowers the decentralized state’s 351 local health departments to execute contact tracing in every city and town in Massachusetts, and had spoken to over 5,000 residents by the close of April.
- MDPH manages data, guides activities, and supports oversight
- PiH hires, trains, supervises staff, plus technical assistance
- As of mid-April, the program has fielded over 15,000 applications for the 1,000 openings.
- CHICA provides virtual support via call center (see Phone scripts) to contact cases and provides care resource management
The CTC has outlined a comprehensive media strategy to inform residents and increase engagement, including its “just answer the call” campaign.
Contact tracing staff are joined by 1700+ academic public health volunteers from the state’s colleges and universities who have been supporting the state’s contact tracing efforts.
North Dakota currently leads the country in contact tracing, with 352 trained contact tracers for its 762,000 residents. It is hiring for multiple roles related to data management and contact tracing program through its Workforce Coordination Center.
North Carolina launched its own Community Tracing Collaborative and is hiring 500 people (job posting).
Michigan announced a plan to hire 3.5k volunteers for contact tracing as part of a state-wide effort, and has since trained over 2k, but has since slowed efforts after it increased scrutiny around its contracts related to the effort.