The state of Michigan has approved contracts to expand Michigan’s COVID-19 contact tracing efforts through a $1 million contract with Rock Connections LLC in Detroit, a member of the Rock Family of Cos., which includes Quicken Loans, for volunteer management and Deloitte, which is based in New York and has offices in Detroit, Grand Rapids, and Midland, for technology integration in support of the efforts.
Rock Connections was chosen through an evaluation process with representatives from the Department of Technology, Management, and Budget and the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services.
Separately, Deloitte is providing technology integration on the project through an already established integration contract with the state that includes an automated text messaging system that individuals can opt-in to following their initial call with a contact tracer. All vendors were approved through a State Emergency Operations Center review process.
“Contact tracing is a proven public health strategy and another tool we’re utilizing to help limit the spread of COVID-19 and reduce the loss of life in our state,” says Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, chief medical executive and chief deputy for health for the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services. “Our team has been working around the clock to stand up this new operation and look forward to significantly expanding the current contact tracing system in place.”
Contact tracing involves identifying individuals affected by COVID-19 and interviewing their friends, families, and other close contacts about their symptoms and health. Rock Connections will oversee volunteer staff who will call identified close contacts for daily check-ins. Calls will be made seven days a week for the next six-12 months.
During these calls, volunteers will provide information about steps that exposed individuals should take to monitor their health and prevent the spread of the virus. They will also log responses to determine if these individuals are symptomatic for COVID-19 and need to be referred to other public health teams for additional follow-up.
More than 3,500 volunteers have completed contact tracing training and are ready to begin helping local health departments. Local health departments are already conducting contact tracing across the state.
Rock Connections operates the call center serving the COVID-19 testing at the former Michigan State Fairgrounds in Detroit. Sign up or volunteer opportunities for public health efforts are available here.