HIALEAH, Fla. – At the end of March, just as the coronavirus pandemic was gaining a foothold in South Florida, Jennifer Ross-Comptis learned that Larkin Community Hospital was creating a team of volunteer contact tracers.
She jumped at the chance to participate.
“I was like, ‘Yeah, I need to be a part of this,’” she said.
After completing online training, Ross-Comptis was ready to go.
An app created by the hospital sends her notifications about people who’ve tested positive for COVID-19.
“I get a ping and it says you have a new person under investigation,” she explained.
Ross-Comptis then calls or emails the person to find out who they’ve been in contact with in the past few days.
“If you remember, and those persons won’t keep spreading the disease,” she said.
Ross-Comptis is now part of more than 1,000 volunteer contact tracers with Larkin, heading up the ever growing Spanish-speaking team.
“That cultural connection provides a level of trust that allows the person who’s being called to be open with the contact tracer,” Larkin team leader Virginia Johnson said.
After being diagnosed with the virus, Local 10′s Louis Aguirre decided to volunteer his information to the contact tracing team.
“The key to combating this virus is information,” he said. “We have to know and this is the responsible thing to do.”
The hospital is now in the process of starting up a Haitian Creole-speaking team.
Despite the plethora of information the hospital has gathered so far, hospital officials say the state has not accepted any of its information submitted through its app.