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Contact tracers provide essential outreach to Pacific Islanders

Excerpt taken from University of Hawaiʻi News:

Program graduates from the University of Hawaiʻi–Hawaiʻi State Department of Health (UHDOHContact Tracing Training Program have been providing critical outreach to communities throughout the state, especially those in Pacific Islander communities who were hardest hit in the state by the COVID-19 pandemic. Pacific Islanders make up about 4% of the state’s population, but have about 28% of the state’s coronavirus infections, according to DOH.

From June—October 2020, more than 500 individuals statewide have completed the UHDOH program. Many serve on contact tracing teams for DOH or other organizations, in roles such as first callers, contact tracers or disease investigators, and play an important part in the state’s COVID-19 response. Under the leadership of Emily Roberson, DOH Disease Investigation Branch chief and Contact Tracing Program lead, contact tracing teams have been formed to focus on specific groups at highest risk, including Pacific Islanders.

UH-trained members on our contact tracing teams have been critical to help us best reach Pacific Islander and other highly-impacted communities,” said Sarah Kemble, Acting State Epidemiologist. “We appreciate the ongoing partnership with our state university.”

Read more on UH News: Contact tracers provide essential outreach to Pacific Islanders