Photo: The Massachusetts Community Tracing Collaborative (mass.gov)
One method Massachusetts is using to flatten the curve of the COVID-19 viral pandemic is by deploying “contact tracers,” medical detectives who track down and warn people who have been exposed to the coronavirus.
And Belmont has joined that effort as Wesley Chin, director of the Belmont Health Department, told the Belmont Board of Health on Monday, April 27, the town has “signed up for the state’s contact tracing program.”
Gov. Charlie Baker started the first in the nation program early this month which began making calls on April 11.
Belmont Town Nurse David Neylon “has been busy working recruiting school nurses from Belmont public schools to help with patient follow up and contact tracing efforts,” said Chin.
The tracers role is to talk to those infected and discover who they have been in contract with. The tracers track down those individuals and help them isolate in an effort to slow the spread of the disease.
The need for tracers is critical as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Robert Redfield said, in an NPR interview, that “very aggressive” contact tracing would be necessary before the country could start to return to any sort of pre-pandemic normalcy.
Neylon said the nurses are being trained on the state’s Department of Public Health’s patient confidentiality regulations. “None of the information is shared any more than it needs to be and it’s on an as-needed basis so that’s certainly something we take very seriously,” said Neylon.