School Nurses in Anne Arundel Become an ‘Army’ of COVID-19 Contact Tracers

stethoscope-2617700_1920 - phone - pixabay - 3.23.20Ahead of state-led efforts, Anne Arundel has reassigned school nurses to perform COVID-19 contract tracing to help identify how far the virus has potentially spread from an identified patient. 

While the state works to start a pilot program with the University of Chicago’s National Opinion Research Center (NORC) to hire tracers, Anne Arundel already has employed 100 people, including 86 school nurses, to work as contact tracers.

The Washington Post reports on the contract tracing being performed by school nurses in Anne Arundel County:

County Health Officer Nilesh Kalyanaraman described the team’s mission as a mix of detective work and social work. Along with ferreting out who may have been exposed, contact tracers have found themselves consoling the grief-stricken and locating resources for families who need food, shelter, diapers, formula or medical assistance.

“We should call it contact-tracing case management,” [County Executive Steuart] Pittman said. “We’re doing case management on every one.”

The article notes that there are 800 locally hired contract tracers statewide and the state has hired 650 contract tracers to begin next week. In Anne Arundel, the tracers are currently working on 855 cases and average 75 new cases a day.

For more information:

Before the state acted, this Maryland county launched a contact-tracing army(The Washington Post)