The B.C. government is set to hire up to 500 additional health professionals to increase contact tracing in the province, officials announced Wednesday.
The announcement comes at a time when the province has experienced a surge in COVID-19 cases and is preparing for a potential second wave of coronavirus infections.
“We want to make sure people are kept safe in any COVID-19 outbreak and one of the ways to do that is through strong contact tracing,” Premier John Horgan said.
“These new contact tracers will provide an extra layer of protection by jumping into action as soon as there is an outbreak and start their detective-style work to find out who may be infected in order to protect all British Columbians.”
Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said contact tracing as “bread and butter” work necessary to mitigate the spread of the virus.
“As we have seen in recent weeks, strong contact tracing is absolutely crucial when dealing with community outbreaks as we slowly and safely increase our contacts,” Health Minister Adrian Dix said.
“Our health-care workers have gone beyond the call of duty during the pandemic and we are putting out this call to these dedicated professionals to bolster our contact tracing capacity and prepare us for a potential surge of COVID-19 in the fall.”