The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) has identified more than 1,800 contact tracers to support the state’s ongoing COVID-19 response efforts.
“With increased testing there will be an increase in the number of positive cases reported,” said Dr. Linda Bell, South Carolina State Epidemiologist. “This means we will need to increase the extent of its contact tracing, and we are prepared to do so.”
Contact tracing isn’t new to DHEC. During normal operations. According DHEC, they have approximately 20 contact tracers who perform this methodology to help limit the spread of diseases like tuberculosis and hepatitis. DHEC infectious disease experts investigate hundreds of disease outbreaks each year.
“As we enhance our testing efforts, DHEC set goal with our AccelerateSC partners of identifying 1,000 contact tracers by May 31,” Bell said. “I’m proud to announce that we’ve met that goal.”
As part of DHEC’s COVID-19 response efforts, the agency has increased its number of contact tracers from 20 to 400 staff members. In addition, DHEC has retained another 1,400 contact tracers through contracts with two private staffing companies (Apple One and C-Trace), bringing the total number of available contact tracers to 1,800. Also, 667 members of the public have also expressed interest in becoming a contact tracer through our contact tracing webpage.