Daniel Tisch, PhD, recently spoke with Cleveland’s News 5 by Skype to describe the role he and several of his MPH students are playing in support of the Cleveland Department of Public Health. Watch the news story.
Case Western Reserve’s MPH program established a COVID-19 working group of several faculty members early in the outbreak to advise on public health concerns on campus and across the greater Cleveland region. The team’s members have backgrounds in infectious disease epidemiology medicine, and public health in the US and around the world.
The working group is comprised of MPH faculty, including Daniel Tisch, PhD, Scott Frank, MD, Peter Zimmerman, PhD, and Karen Mulloy, DO, MSHC.
Tisch and some of his students have been supporting the Cleveland Department of Public Health (CDPH) by tracking cases of COVID-19 from confirmed patients to people who may be carrying the virus without knowing it.
This is done through phone-based tracing to identify and notify individuals who may be at higher risk of infection due to exposure to known cases. The tracing requires processes and protocols to ensure patient privacy, while still addressing individuals’ need to know about self-isolation and quarantine practices, as well as the larger community’s need to stop the spread of COVID-19.
In the absence of wide-spread testing, this kind of tracing is essential in trying to contain the spread of COVID-19, which can have dramatic and even fatal outcomes for vulnerable people in the greater Cleveland community – and even out of the county if infected people travel or commute. Faculty and students are also assisting the CDPH with support work, given the need to flex up rapidly to meet the community response.