Case investigation and contact tracing (CICT) is an important tool for controlling the spread of COVID-19. Sara Alert is a tool for local health departments to support their CICT efforts in mitigating the spread of COVID-19 in their communities.
What is Sara Alert?
Sara Alert is a data monitoring tool that automates the process of public health monitoring and reporting of individuals exposed or infected with COVID-19 or any infectious disease. The open-source tool supports public health response through remote symptom monitoring. Sara Alert is available free of charge to public health departments. When an individual is exposed or infected with COVID-19, health departments can contact them and enroll them in Sara Alert. Enrolled individuals enter their symptoms each day via web, text, email, or phone. The information is stored in a protected database that the local or state health department can only see. Symptoms are monitored until the individual recovers from COVID-19, and then all of their information is deleted from the database. To provide more robust case investigation and contact tracing (CICT) services to refugee, immigrant, and migrant (RIM) communities, Sara Alert could be one helpful tool in a health department's toolbox for reaching populations disproportionately affected by COVID-19.
Pennsylvania Health Services Utilize Sara Alert
In Adams County, Pennsylvania, public health practitioners utilize Sara Alert to support CICT efforts. There was an initial process of on-boarding and using the tool. The tool's benefits include the fact that health department staff can enter the whole household under one contact in the system. This is particularly useful for RIM communities as some RIM community members live in large or extended multigenerational households. As a result, these contacts are viewed as individuals; however, they're all connected to a specific case. Sara Alert then notifies the household so that individuals can be notified as a group. Staff reported that many RIM communities feel comfortable with the Sara Alert data monitoring method.