In the old days of local journalism, nothing irritated me more than having a competitor do the story I was planning to do, just before I did it. The profession was pretty competitive back then.

But the collapse of the business model for local journalism and resulting hollowing-out of newsrooms means there are way more stories than reporters to cover them – so these days when a competitor beats me to a story I say “well done!” and move on to something else.

Case in point: New Hampshire Public Radio has a comprehensive look at contact tracing for COVID-19 in the state via a Q&A with Beth Daly, chief of the Bureau of Infectious Disease Control. That’s a topic I was planning on writing about this week. Now I don’t have to!

You can read it, or listen to it, here:

Here’s the part I was most curious about – staffing:

Daly says the state started out with its preexisting, dedicated staff of 15 tracers at the start of the outbreak earlier this year. … They had about 40 tracers in March, and 80 in April. In May, as cases rose, they added contractors and support from the National Guard – for a total of about 105 tracers in May, and 120 in June.

Daly says they’ve let some of the reassigned DHHS staff go back to their normal roles now, with about 110 tracers remaining on the job.

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