Mitigation and Prevention
This article discusses an academic-health department community partnership that was developed to expand disease investigation and contact tracing capacity during the COVID-19 pandemic. The partnership involved a local county health department and a local university, which collaborated to address the lack of workforce capacity and technology needed for efficient disease control measures. The program added 108 contact tracers to the county’s public health workforce and enabled remote work using a call center app and secure cloud-based platform. The article outlines the requirements for developing the program, such as hiring, health data security protocols, and data source management, and shares lessons learned from the partnership. The innovative program improved disease investigation and contact tracing efforts, allowing for better control of the spread of COVID-19 in the community.