New Mexico in need of more contact tracers | KOB 4

New Mexico in need of more contact tracers

Brittany Costello
Updated: July 24, 2020 06:38 PM
Created: July 24, 2020 06:20 PM

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.- New Mexico is conducting surveillance and contract tracing to help slow the spread of COVID-19.

However, as cases rise in New Mexico, state resources are strained.


A woman, who did not want to be identified, told KOB 4 that her case seems to have been lost in the shuffle after someone she knew tested positive for the virus. 

“You’re worried and you’re waiting for these phone calls that are not coming,” she said.

The woman said she only received one call despite the person she knows testing positive 17 days later. 

The Department of Health reportedly has 250 people conducting contact tracing. However, based on CDC guidelines and the state's population, the department needs at least 640 contact tracers.

An internal memo from the Department of Health says its calling on all employees to help with the emergency response.

The department is also in the process of hiring and training more people. The new hires will need to be trained on HIPAA, patient privacy and the software being utilized.

"Department of Health employees – particularly many teleworking – have already volunteered to step in to provide us additional contact tracing assistance and are undergoing the training involved to assure they master the software used for tracing, call flow and more – all while assuring patient privacy," said David Morgan, media and social media manager for the Department of Health.   

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