On The Line: Contact Tracers Accompany COVID-19 Patients In Massachusetts
PIH’s partnership key to statewide pandemic response
Posted on Dec 10, 2020
A COVID-19 diagnosis is disruptive, not only threatening physical and mental health but also, for many, putting jobs, housing, and food at risk. When Partners In Health launched its contact tracing partnership with the state of Massachusetts in April, supporting local health departments across the state in contact tracing, it was grounded by a simple vision: No patient should have to navigate COVID-19 alone.
Since then, the Massachusetts Community Tracing Collaborative (CTC) has spoken with 124,535 cases of individuals who have tested positive for COVID-19 and their contacts and made roughly 750,000 calls across the state—statistics that speak to the strength of PIH’s approach, informed by decades of global experience responding to infectious disease outbreaks.
The CTC follows a time-tested model: It reaches out to all COVID-19 patients and their contacts, advises them on testing and quarantine, and connects them to the resources needed to stay home and healthy.
CTC staff include contact tracers, case investigators, and care resource coordinators, who provide comprehensive and culturally relevant support rooted in social justice, focusing on communities hardest hit due to systemic inequities in areas ranging from housing to health care. The CTC is more than a contact tracing program—in many ways, it’s a lifeline, connecting patients with advice, resources, and a listening ear as they navigate a daunting and uncertain pandemic.
Watch the video for first-hand accounts from contact tracers. Patients’ identities have been kept anonymous out of respect for their privacy.