SEVERE WX : Excessive Heat Warning View Alerts
STREAMING NOW: Watch Now
CLOSINGS: View Closings

Council approves funding to hire contact tracers

Almost $200,000 will go toward the hiring of five new staff for the St. Joseph Health Department, who will be charged with following up with people who have recently come in close contact with those who have tested positive for Covid-19.

Posted: Jun 29, 2020 10:50 PM
Updated: Jun 30, 2020 10:33 AM

(ST. JOSEPH, Mo.) -- St. Joseph's city council approved funding of more than $192,000 for the hiring of new temporary staff for the St. Joseph Health Department on Monday.

Their passage of the proposal will now allow the health department to hire five new employees, whose only jobs will be contact tracing.

Health department staff have been stretched thin since the coronavirus pandemic began. They have been doing all contact tracing in-house. However, because the job is time intensive, they're needing more help.

"The shortest phone call we've had has been about 30 minutes, the longest is about an hour," said Debora Bradley, director of the St. Joseph Health Department

Buchanan County now has nearly 900 positive cases of the coronavirus. Bradley says during the shutdown and social distancing restrictions, her staff would need to make on average about three phone calls per positive case.

Since the city's reopening, she says that some of those who have newly tested positive have had up to 20 contacts.

Funds to hire the staff are coming from the federal Covid-19 CARES relief package. Staff will be hired to work until the end of the year.

Monday evening's meeting was the first council session where members met in-person in the council chambers since the Covid-19 pandemic began.

St. Joseph
Clear
74° wxIcon
Hi: 86° Lo: 74°
Feels Like: 74°
Maryville
Clear
70° wxIcon
Hi: 86° Lo: 72°
Feels Like: 70°
Savannah
Clear
72° wxIcon
Hi: 85° Lo: 72°
Feels Like: 72°
Cameron
Partly Cloudy
75° wxIcon
Hi: 86° Lo: 73°
Feels Like: 75°
Atchison
Clear
72° wxIcon
Hi: 85° Lo: 71°
Feels Like: 72°
Temperatures will stay warm overnight with lows dropping into the upper 60s. Monday will be another hot and humid day, similar to Sunday, with temperatures climbing into the lower 90s. Humid conditions and high heat indices will continue into the work week. Things will quickly start to warm up even more by the end of the week with highs in the upper 90s and heat index values in the triple digits. A slightly better chance for rain will move into the area Monday morning keeping temperatures in the lower 90s. Things will quickly start to warm up again by the end of the week with highs in the upper 90s and heat index values in the triple digits.
KQTV Radar
KQTV Temperatures
KQTV Alerts

Community Events