Barnstable County Awarded $500K Public Health Nursing Grant to Bolster COVID-19 Case Investigation and Tracking
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Barnstable County Department of Health and Environment
September 29, 2021 – Barnstable, MA | Barnstable County Department of Health and Environment’s Public Health Nursing Division announced today that they have been awarded a $500K grant through the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (MA DPH) to enhance COVID-19 case investigation and epidemiology for the region.
Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, Barnstable County’s Public Health Nursing Division and Medical Reserve Corps volunteers have been working vigorously to meet the community’s needs regarding COVID-19 testing, vaccination, clinic planning, and operation as well as contact tracing for towns, schools, and the community at large. As the pandemic continues to evolve, the need for accurate reporting and data management specific to our region has only increased.
The grant, entitled Local Health Support for COVID-19 Case Investigation and Contact Tracing, will fund epidemiologic and public health nursing staff positions to support and expand existing efforts that have been underway since the pandemic began. These staff will investigate laboratory-confirmed cases of COVID-19 among Barnstable County residents and identify, monitor, and track clusters that may arise. They will also study surveillance data for the region to better understand how the virus is spreading and determine ways to lessen its impact.
According to Barnstable County Public Health Nurse Deirdre Arvidson, “The majority of towns on Cape Cod operate under a shared services agreement and receive additional support from the Visiting Nurses Association (VNA). We meet regularly to collaborate, determine where assistance is needed most and how we can best allocate resources to those areas. This grant will greatly assist in that effort and help us to guide policy decisions and prevention measures Cape-wide”.
To learn more about our Public Health Nursing Division and Barnstable County’s contribution during the COVID-19 pandemic, please visit www.barnstablecountyhealth.org.
ABOUT BARNSTABLE COUNTY DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND ENVIRONMENT: Established under a Special Act of the Legislature in 1926, the Barnstable County Department of Health & Environment (BCDHE) provides regional public health and environmental health services throughout the 15 towns comprising Barnstable County. The Department manages several environmental, public health, and homeland security grants funded through state and federal resources. The Department’s primary mission is to protect public health and the environment and promote the physical and mental health and well-being of Barnstable County residents.