CDC To Expand Public Health Workforce To Support Contact Tracing : Shots

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) headquarters stands in Atlanta. CDC director Dr. Robert Redfield says the agency will double the current number of positions to aid local health departments in quashing new outbreaks.

Elijah Nouvelage/Bloomberg via Getty Images

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Elijah Nouvelage/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) headquarters stands in Atlanta. CDC director Dr. Robert Redfield says the agency will double the current number of positions to aid local health departments in quashing new outbreaks.

Elijah Nouvelage/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is providing funding to hire 650 more workers at state health departments around the country to supplement more than 600 already in place, according to director Dr. Robert Redfield. Redfield says it’s part of an effort to focus on testing and contact tracing to prevent any big new outbreaks from occurring.

“As we open up, we need to reset our sights on what the primary strategy is to control this virus and that has got to be containment. And that means we have to have the testing and capacity to contain-contain-contain this virus,” he says.

The CDC director also says the agency has started talking with other federal agencies including the Census Bureau, as well programs like the Peace Corps and AmeriCorps, to see if they might be able to provide some of the thousands of workers states will need.

“We are in the process of rapidly accelerating the human capacity that will be available to the states,” Redfield says. “So that’s why we’re working with the health departments — the state health departments now — to develop that expansion plan so that they have a substantially enhanced public health workforce.”

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