Governor Eric Holcomb has unveiled his plan to centralize contact tracing and investigations for Hoosiers who have tested positive for COVID-19. The state is partnering with Virginia-based Maximus Inc. on the effort, which will including hiring at least 500 workers who will conduct the investigations.
Contact tracing is the process of identifying those who have tested positive for an illness and asking questions about who they were in contact with during their infectious period. Then, investigators will notify those close contacts of their exposure.
“Our local health departments have been doing an incredible job with contact tracing for COVID-19, but we know that as the number of cases increases, the strain on local resources will be significant,” State Health Commissioner Dr. Kris Box said in a news release. “This centralized approach will free up local health departments to connect people with supportive services in their communities, help with large outbreaks in congregate settings and continue to provide other essential public health services, such as immunizations.”
Holcomb’s office says the new employees will be trained in contact tracing and investigations by subject matter experts from the Indiana State Department of Health.
A call center for the effort is expected to be operational by May 11.
The contact tracing partnership is in conjunction with the state’s recently-announced agreement with Minnesota-based OptumServe Health Services to open COVID-19 testing sites throughout the state.