DeSantis to increase coronavirus contact tracing in Miami-Dade

MIAMI – Gov. Ron DeSantis is ready to sign a new contract to improve Miami-Dade’s contact tracing efforts during the coronavirus pandemic, his office announced Wednesday afternoon.

Contact tracers are the detectives who investigate COVID-19 infections to help control outbreaks during the pandemic. Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez said this was a Florida Department of Health task.

The FDOH runs the Miami-Dade County DOH agency.

Helen Aguirre Ferré, the director of communications for DeSantis’ office, said the contract to improve the outbreak management strategy in Miami-Dade County will also need Gimenez’s signature.

“Unfortunately, it has taken longer than anticipated for Mayor Gimenez to sign the contract because he and his staff continuously changed the parameters of what they were requesting,” Aguirre Ferré said, adding the discussion began on May 20th.

Dr. Aileen Marty, an infectious disease physician with more than 30 years of experience in clinical medicine and pathology, said earlier this week Gimenez needs an army of contact tracers.

Marty said there are about 200 contact tracers in Miami-Dade. Experts estimate Miami-Dade needs at least 415.

DeSantis’ office did not release the name of the contractor or provide specifics about the funding. Contracts done through the Florida Division of Emergency Management do not follow the usual government’s competitive bidding rules.

About the Authors:

Christina returned to Local 10 in 2019 as a reporter after covering Hurricane Dorian for the station. She is an Edward R. Murrow Award-winning journalist and previously earned an Emmy Award while at WPLG for her investigative consumer protection segment "Call Christina."

The Emmy Award-winning journalist joined the Local 10 News team in 2013. She wrote for the Miami Herald for more than 9 years and won a Green Eyeshade Award.