LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — Governor Asa Hutchinson announced on Friday, June 12, he’s authorized 20 specialized National Guard members to be brought into active duty to work as contact tracers.
They do have people on staff with the National Guard with the certain skill sets that we need to do this and so it’s really great that they are available and can help us.DR. JENNIFER DILLAHA, STATE EPIDEMIOLOGIST, ARKANSAS DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH
This comes as the Natural State’s cases continue to spike statewide.
As of June 12, the Arkansas Department of Health (ADH) only has about 250 contact tracers and needs at least 100 more.
That really puts a stress on the nurses and contact tracers. We need more resources there.GOV. ASA HUTCHINSON, (R) ARKANSAS
Arkansas Department of Health State Epidemiologist Dr. Jennifer Dillaha said the department is stretched thin because the staff has been rearranged to help with contact tracing.
“It’s not that we just need 100 more,” she said. “We need that and to replace the department staff because we can’t sustain that for a long period of time.”
The ADH and Governor Hutchinson are urging vendors that are willing to do contact tracing to come forward and help the state.