Massachusetts Epidemiologic Network Provides COVID Positive Cases To Framingham’s Contact Tracing Nurses

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FRAMINGHAM – Framingham opted out of the state’s first-in-the-nation contact tracing program for COVID-19 earlier this year, but that is because the City of Framingham has its own program, according to Framingham Health Director Sam Wong.

The City of Framingham however is still reliant on the Massachusetts Epidemiologic Network, known as MAVEN.

“Each person tested is uploaded as an ‘event’ in the Massachusetts Epidemiologic Network (MAVEN). Those events (cases; confirmed, probable, suspect and contacts) can only be assigned after MAVEN notified the Board of Health in the persons home community. Once we are notified, we acknowledge to MDPH that we have received the notification, the event is assigned to a Public Health Nurse Investigator and the Investigator makes initial outreach to the person. We aim for this to occur within that first 24 hours,” said Kitty Mahoney, the City of Framingham’s Public Health Nurse.

However, Mahoney said the City of Framingham has seen issues with “Delay in laboratory processing time, Delay in laboratory reporting to MDPH and delay in MDPH notifying the Local Health Department.”

For that reason, Wong on September 16, began telling residents recently if they are not called within 24 hours of their positive COVID-19 test, they should contact the City’s health department.

SOURCE reported on Sept. 15, about delays in the contact tracing program in Framingham. In the past couple of weeks, several Framingham residents have contacted SOURCE to say they tested positive at Carewell, Partners, MetroWest Medical Center, and other testing sites, and were still waiting to hear from a contact tracer more than 72 hours after the positive test result, and some waiting more than a week.

Wong told SOURCE last week “we rely on MAVEN to provide us with the information on any new cases, including contact information.  Occasionally, there are cases that the contact information provided by MAVEN is incorrect.  Every efforts are being made to contact someone who tested positive, including Google search on white pages, previous infectious disease records, and engaging other healthcare partners such as the Kennedy Community Health Center.  Our public health nurses do this work 7 days a week.  We are developing messaging to residents to contact us when they receive a positive test result.”

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