Gov. Baker Announces Community Tracing Collaborative

BOSTON (WBZ NewsRadio) — Gov. Baker has announced a major effort to trace the spread of coronavirus across Massachusetts.

"The next step of our surge preparations involves increasing our ability to trace and isolate cases," Baker said at a press conference Friday afternoon.

"We've mentioned before that Command Center has been working to ramp up the Commonwealth's Tracing Program, which is another big part of our effort to fight back against the virus. Today I'm excited to announce the creation of the COVID-19 Community Tracing Collaborative."

According to Baker, "tracing" will involve Public Health officials gathering information from any person who tests positive for coronavirus, to determine who else they could have infected. Those officials will then attempt to contact the infected person's "close contacts," to make them aware that they need to quarantine or get tested themselves.

"Enhanced tracing capacity is an enormously powerful tool for public health officials to rely on in their battle against COVID-19," Baker said. "We're working toward a goal of getting staffed and ready to go in this effort by the end of this month."

Baker said the program is a partnership between the state's Coronavirus Command Center, Partners In Health, the Department of Public Health, and the Health Connector.

"As a reminder, there is tracing happening now," Baker said, "but this program that we're talking about launching today is a much more robust, targeted approach that we hope can be highly effective at slowing the spread of this highly infectious disease... It's going to be a big part of our ongoing effort to manage and fight our way through COVID-19."

(Photo: Karyn Regal/WBZ NewsRadio)

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