As COVID-19 cases continue to rise, the state is heavily relying on COVID-19 contact tracing centers to make connections.
But what is it like working in an operation centered around contact tracing? Carly Matasavage leads a team of more than 50 in the Waterbury COVID-19 contact tracing call center. A seven-day operation, the staff works to find and contact those who maybe impacted by COVID-19.
Matasavage describes the tracing center as something that isn’t just a professional but a truly personal experience.
"I definitely think about everyone’s that I speak to every day often," she said. "There’s people that I had cases, even when I was an intern for the city, I was helping with the basic needs side and I spoke with people then and I think about them to this day. Just think about how they are doing or they had a big family and I hope they’re doing OK."
The manager describes the work as more than just a job but a lifestyle and sometimes the work can spill over into after hours.
"I go home and sometimes I get upset like I make connections with these people I talk to them on the phone for quite some time but it just reminds me how fortunate I am to be here and I’m healthy and able to do this job," said Matasavage.
Director of Emergency Management Adam Rinko explainedthat the team working for call center does more than what the public may thinking.
" It’s just not a contact tracing center we actually handle unmet needs. When we’re putting someone in isolation it’s not lost on us that that they may not have contact for food or medicine, baby and child care supplies, and we actually arrange for that right out of the center. "
Rinko says in his 20 years with the city, the team work it’s taken to put all this together is unmatched.
"Our carpenters actually built all the individual dividers to customize the room, our IT department has done a wonderful job connecting all our computers to switches into all the servers. In my time with the city I’ve never seen anything like this," said Rinko.
The director said the city has received funding to staff the center with number of new positions over the next two years.