FRESNO, Calif. (KSEE) — In Fresno County, the health department says about half of the COVID-19 cases are close-contact related.
As Fresno County continues to accelerate its reopening process, the health department is ramping up its contact tracing team.
The team will include school nurses and the training begins this week at Fresno State because in-person classes are not happening right now, the college is simply being used for its large classrooms.
The Fresno County Department of Public Health says these new sessions come as the state implemented a new program to help with contact tracing.
“From what I heard of it, it’s going to be a lot more collaborative, so we’re going to be able to work with our partners outside of the county to help us do this contact tracing, as far as congregate settings, places that see a lot of people and people that have that capacity to help us out and do this,” said Michael Flores, co-lead for the contact tracing team with the Fresno County Department of Public Health.
Flores says one of the big collaborations will be with the school districts.
“We’re going to be hiring school nurses to be trained on a lot of this stuff so that when school does start happening they’ll be able to take that to each of their perspective districts and help us do this contact tracing if there is a case in any of their areas,” Flores said.
The sessions will be held at Fresno State and will be a two-day training.
Flores says right now the health department has about 110 people on their contact tracing team.
He says the new class will bring them up to about 130 but says they plan on including more down the line.
“We’re hoping that our community-based organizations will be able to help us out with is, faith-based organizations, just places where there’s a lot of people around,” he said.
The health department is still working with Fresno State, using their lab on campus to process COVID-19 tests.