For a team at UMB, contact tracing is a small but detailed and complex part of their jobs, and it’s one that nobody had experience doing before in a pandemic.
Containing the spread of COVID-19 without a vaccine comes down to three tenets: test, trace, and isolate.
A team at the University of Maryland, Baltimore (UMB) that is behind the UMB COVID-19 Hotline and the SAFE on Campus daily symptom monitoring system is ensuring those three steps are being followed for faculty, staff, and students.
Contact tracing is a small but detailed and complex part of their jobs, and it’s one that nobody had experience doing before in a pandemic.
“It is not a solid science. It is ever-changing, evolving,” said Bria Graham Glover, MPH, CIC, infection control epidemiologist at UMB. “We’re learning as we go.”
Graham and Deborah Knepp, BSN, RN, COHNS, COHC, occupational health nurse, are part of a team led by Marianne Cloeren, MD, MPH, FACOEM, FACP, associate professor at the University of Maryland School of Medicine, that’s making sure people with COVID-19-compatible symptoms are not coming to campus through the use of SAFE on Campus and the UMB COVID-19 Hotline.
They’re navigating guidance changes from different agencies and having a sizable portion of faculty, students, and staff being affiliated with more than one institution or workplace. So far, nothing has stopped this team from completing its jobs.
“We couldn’t keep open without them. That’s the bottom line,” said Steven Deck, DM, MBA, ARM, CIH, CSP, CHMM, director of Environmental Health and Safety at UMB. “It’s as important as electricity. Nothing could happen without it.”