Toronto adds more contact tracers to manage COVID-19 surge

Jan 15 2021, 5:33 pm

Toronto Public Health is expanding its COVID-19 case and contact management to focus on the “rapid isolation” of cases.

In partnership with the Province of Ontario, 180 contact callers and case managers were added, with 100 case managers being recruited as Toronto Public Health staff perform “higher risk investigations, including clusters and workplace outbreaks.”

“Confronting COVID-19 is an all hands on deck effort. The City and the province have worked together to dramatically expand Toronto Public Health’s case and contact management team,” said Mayor John Tory in a statement.

“I want to thank everyone involved in the case and contact management efforts and thank the Province for their continued partnership. We can all help protect each other and our healthcare system by staying home as much as possible right now to reduce the possibility for COVID-19 to spread.”

Since March 2020, the city’s public health unit has increased the case and contact management team from 50 staff to now more than 900, as well as building a custom data system to increase the speed and efficiency of case and contact management.

“Case and contact management is complex and a central component of our COVID-19 response. Investigations into where the individual may have acquired COVID-19 provides our team with the opportunity to proactively work upstream to prevent further virus spread. On behalf of TPH, I extend sincere thanks to the province for their support in this important area of our local response,” Toronto’s Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Eileen de Villa, said.

Cases in Toronto have been high recently, with a total of 73,675 cases since the pandemic began and 2,126 reported deaths.

Clarrie FeinsteinClarrie Feinstein

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