MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Miami-Dade has worked out a deal with the state and will receive $14 million to add another 250 contact tracers in the county through the end of the year.
Contact tracing is where health care workers ask infected people for a list of everyone they’ve been in contact with while potentially contagious. The worker then tells those contacts to quarantine themselves and watch for symptoms.
White House guidelines describe contact tracing as one of the “core state preparedness responsibilities.”
The new contact tracers will actually work for the state’s health department but will be paid by the county by funds they received from the federal CARES Act.
“As I told the Surgeon General during a recent meeting, Miami-Dade County has been ready to step in and do whatever is possible within the state’s purview. So, I’m very happy today that we are moving forward,” said Mayor Carlos Gimenez in a statement.
Miami-Dade is also preparing to launch a voluntary “Community Empowerment Program” through an app that allows residents to track coronavirus hot spots to avoid the spread.
The county says everyone should be doing part to stop the spread of the virus. That includes wearing masks in all public spaces (inside and outdoors), maintain social distancing of at least 6 feet, and frequent hand washing.
“If everyone does their part, we will see our positivity rate go down, our hospitals will not be overwhelmed, and we can start to reopen businesses guided by New Normal rules,” said Gimenez.