Kansas boosts contact tracing efforts amid Delta surge, hires 150 ‘case investigators’


TOPEKA, (KSNT)– Some states cut back on contact tracing efforts after new cases declined earlier this year. Now, a push to hire more is underway.

A spokesperson for the state’s health department told Kansas Capitol Bureau the state is onboarding an additional 53 contact monitors and 150 case investigators this month.

“With the rise in cases and the high transmissibility of the Delta Variant, we will continue to bring on additional staff as needed to handle this surge.”

Spokesperson, Kansas Department of Health & Environment

This comes as Kansas and states across the U.S. experienced a wave of Delta variant cases that could soon reach its peak. Contact tracing plays a critical role in stopping the spread of coronavirus.

The Kansas Department of Health has split the role of what some consider “contact tracers” into two roles. Case investigators interview people who have tested positive for coronavirus and determine who their close contacts were. The contact monitors call them and continue to check on them during their quarantine period.

Currently, the state has about 60 case investigators and 54 case monitors. The health department is hoping to strengthen efforts to keep the virus under control with new hires.

“These roles play a vital role in ensuring that we identify where a COVID-19 positive person has visited and who their close contacts are. When this information is known, we are able to alert possible close contacts to help stop the spread of the virus to anyone else.”

Spokesperson, Kansas Department of Health & Environment

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