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With COVID-19 cases skyrocketing, efforts to track down St. Louis struggled to keep up Metro



However, Missouri has trained a team of 50 existing staff from the state health department to support local officials and relies heavily on city and county health departments to lead efforts. force.

Local jurisdictions scramble to switch from paper charts, update computer systems, apply for federal stimulus funds, reorganize staff from other public health operations, and hire and train New contact followers. The effort continues as circumstances increase and challenges change.

“It̵

7;s not a perfect system,” says Ave. “We used to say at the medical department that we were driving the ship while it was building.”

In January, St. County health department Louis has three people and a $ 3.16 million budget is devoted to infectious diseases and contact tracking, officials said at a recent budget meeting. Now the county has about 140 temporary employees and 180 volunteers and is spending about $ 15 million per month, mainly the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security, or CARES, Act pandemic relief funds. .

However, the federal bailout will run out by the end of the year. Next year, the county wants to have 90 new staff members dedicated to COVID-19 response, which may include vaccine delivery. Officials expect the cost to be close to $ 14.4 million, a 24% increase in the health department’s budget.

The County also used $ 600,000 in federal relief funds to hire St. University. Louis provides additional “augmented” training for contact trackers, improves data collection and analysis, and provides a mobile app that employees can use for easy retrieval. information from their contacts positive cases.


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