Alberta Health Services falls short of COVID-19 contact tracing goal set last year

CALGARY — Alberta Health Services aimed to have 1,600 workers tracking close contacts of active COVID-19 cases by the end of 2020, but the agency confirms it is still short of that amount.

In an email to CTV News Tuesday, AHS confirmed that it had 1,250 contact tracers employed as of this week, and they’re continuing to meet the demand brought on by the continued pandemic.

Officials added that the reason they fell short of the 1,600-position goal set late in 2020 was due to a number of delays.

“With such a large volume of hires in a short period of time, AHS has experienced some delay with expediting the onboard process for staff due to various factors including available orientation spots, computer equipment availability, IT and security clearances etc.,” it wrote in the statement.

“AHS is working hard to address these delays and bring additional staff onto the contact tracing team as quickly as possible while maintaining the necessary standards and safety protocols necessary.”

Contact tracing

According to its data, AHS had 50 contact tracers pre-pandemic. By July, it had 300 and by September, there were 700 on staff.

Officials say they expect to have 1,600 workers on staff in the next few weeks and more than 2,000 by early February.

You can learn more about active contact tracing opportunities on the AHS website.

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