COVID-has has added urgency to public health and safety agencies’ need to implement contact tracing and crew exposures monitoring even beyond their normal infection control processes. In Mobile Medicine, the most consistent locus of infection has been found to be the station house itself, where emergency responders (Fire, EMS & Police) live and work in close proximity, eating and sleeping without using personal protective equipment (PPE). In Los Angeles County and Harris County, Texas (Houston), the fire departments are so populous that tracking potential and confirmed exposures is a task that is impossible to complete manually using spreadsheets. The Los Angeles County Fire Department, for example, has over 6000 sworn and support personnel. This presentation focuses on the experience of the Los Angeles County Fire Department, Cypress Creek EMS and Harris County Emergency Services District 48 in Texas, and the Rio Rico Medical & Fire District in Arizona, as they rapidly deployed an artificially intelligent (A.I.) COVID-19 crew exposures tracking software to keep their own personnel safe. This COVID-19 contact tracing and exposures tracking software includes several components—for triage, symptom and test result aggregation over time, and alerting.

Some have described COVID-19 as “the Great Accelerator.” Perhaps most exciting of all, as the number of infections rises in Summer 2020 and test availability is again constrained, the LA County Fire Department’s Medical Director’s office discovered a heuristic algorithm to triage COVID-19 infection risk where tests are delayed or insufficiently unavailable. This achievement was the result of a remarkable public-private partnership between a small startup and large public health and safety agencies in two of America’s most populous counties. The algorithm is thus far holding up across the software’s other deployments.

In this webinar, presented by HARVARD IN TECH and the COVID FOUNDATION, we ask: if it took under a week to deploy COVID-19 contact tracing software deployment at each of the sites being highlighted — including at Los Angeles County Fire, with 6000+ personnel under coverage — could other workplaces benefit from such an exposure tracking approach? For example, places where a known population operates in close quarters, with limited ability to social distance, and so face heightened risk of community spread — such as schools, airlines and cruises, manufacturing, sports, agriculture, warehousing, and correctional facilities?