Tarrant County Hiring More Contact Tracers

contact-tracing app
Photo credit No-Mad/GettyImages

Tarrant County Commissioners have voted to hire more people to help with the County's efforts to perform contact tracing on COVID-19 patients. The vote comes one week after Commissioners rejected a similar measure.

"My request today is that rather than the 270 individuals we had requested initially, that the Commissioners Court authorize us to engage up to 186 additional individuals," said County Administrator G.K. Maenius. "We believe that we have adequate space. We're going to be working on a work-from-home philosophy. We probably don't need any additional space."

Tarrant County health officials had said they needed the additional contact tracers to keep up with the increasing number of COVID-19 patients in the county. 

The smaller request and the assurance that federal funds would pay for the additional workers resulted in a unanimous vote in favor of the plan. 

"This is a vital function. It goes hand in hand with our testing program. It's something that we must do in order to be sure about where the virus is in our community," said County Commissioner Roy Charles Brooks. 

Tarrant County Judge Glen Whitely supported the measure. He also requested frequent updates on the progress of efforts to track the spread of the coronavirus.

"I want to know how many folks they've contacted that were positive and gotten information from," he said. "I want to know  to the extent if they've given us contacts...how many of those contacts we've been able to communicate with."