COLUMBIA, S.C. (WMBF) – The Department of Health and Environmental Control continues to add to its army of contact tracers in an effort to slow the spread of the coronavirus.
DHEC reported that it has increased its contact tracers to 474 active case investigators, 230 active contact monitors and 600 trained contact monitors.
When someone tests positive for the virus, contact tracers will reach out to patients a day or two later and will ask the patient who they have been in close contact with over the past couple of weeks. Then the contact tracer can alert that person, who may not know they’ve been in contact with a coronavirus patient, that they should self-quarantine and get tested.
As cases have stayed above the 1,000 mark, it has become increasingly difficult for contact tracers to keep up with the new cases.
DHEC hopes that a new contact monitoring software will help.
The software will expand the agency’s ability to rapidly reach out to contacts, provide education on the importance of quarantine and will also allow tracers to monitor patients during the quarantine period.
DHEC officials said all case investigators and contact monitors have been trained on the new system.