RACINE — A contract for hiring contact tracers, which the City Council amended to require 80% of contact tracers to reside in the City of Racine, was vetoed by the mayor and the resident requirement reduced in order to have some of those contact tracers ready to start on Monday morning.
Ironically, the uncertainty caused by the amended contract lead to one applicant, who is a city resident and had hoped to start on Monday, to accept a different job offer.
The city was awarded a total of $933,257 in grants from the state to address the COVID-19 pandemic. Out of that total, the Racine Health Department requested that the two largest grants, which include a $688,860 contact tracing grant and a $127,800 testing coordinator grant, should go toward hiring five contact tracers through Maxim HealthCare Services, a medical staffing service.
During a long discussion last week, several aldermen expressed concerns that requiring the contact tracers to be licensed registered nurses might limit how many city residents could apply.
Health Department Administrator Dottie-Kay Bowersox explained that anyone who is not a licensed registered nurse would need to be supervised by one and emphasized the need for the contractors to be able to work independently.
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