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Clark County Bolsters Outbreak Investigation Staff as Area Reopens

As Clark County, Washington moves through its phased re-opening, the area has boosted its public health workforce, with help from PHI’s Tracing Health contact tracing program. Marta Induni, Tracing Health program manager, says the program hires locally, so folks know the community they are working with.

  • The Columbian

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, public health officials in Clark County, Washington are tracking the measures needed to move into Phase III of the area’s re-opening process. One milestone: having contact tracers reach 90 percent of those with confirmed cases by phone or in-person within 24 hours of a positive test. The county is at 61 percent.

PHI’s Tracing Health contact tracing program, along with the Oregon Public Health Institute, are now working with the county to meet the goal. Twenty contact tracers have started work, with another eight hired and joining the program next week. Tracing Health has also supplied the team in Clark County with a supervisor, a manager and a resource coordinator, who works to insure that people in quarantine have the support they need to stay home.


Marta Induni, the Senior Director of Research at Public Health Institute, said the nonprofit hires locally for these positions, so folks know the community they are working with. “It’s the county work that makes all the difference,” Induni said.

Induni said trust is important to case investigation and contact notification. Public Health Institute also places an emphasis on hiring workers who are bilingual. That’s important in Clark County, where more than 30 percent of cases have been Latino, according to county data.

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Originally published by The Columbian

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