LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- A local company plans to hire an estimated 80 to 100 part- and full-time workers over the next few weeks to execute Louisville's COVID-19 contact tracing efforts.

After a nationwide search that prompted a large number of proposals, Louisville-based Lacuna Health was awarded the city's contact-tracing partnership, Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer announced Friday.

Lacuna's ability to quickly hire and train staff members, along with its investment in technology to handle an influx in calls, manage workflows and input data into the city's contact-tracing database, were among the reasons why the private company was selected for the partnership, according to Karen Handmaker, who was appointed to help oversee the city's contact tracing efforts. 

Partnering with a company with Louisville roots was an additional incentive, Handmaker said.

"It makes us very proud to pick a local firm who will hire locally and help us meet what we need in our community to conquer the coronavirus," she added. "Metro Louisville's goals and Lacuna's goals to create a very safe and healthy way of reopening our city is perfectly aligned, and we're excited to work with them."

No information was provided Friday on how much the contact tracing program will cost. Dr. Sara Moyer, director of the Metro Department of Public Health and Wellness, said during a May 15 briefing that the estimated cost of the contact tracing contract may be close to $1 million. 

Jobs are already posted, according to Lacuna CEO Brian Holzer, who said the company will "preference locality" when looking for job candidates but will extend its search nationally. Among the positions available are disease investigators, contact tracers and daily patient monitors. To view the listings and apply, click here.

The goal of contact tracing is to curb the spread of the COVID-19, which has infected more than 8,000 Kentuckians and killed nearly 400. Staff will call people who have tested positive for COVID-19 and ask them for the names of those who they were in close contact with when they were likely infectious. They would then notify those people as soon as possible and encourage them to self-quarantine for 14 days while monitoring any symptoms.

"My staff and I couldn't be any happier to be put in a position to be part of the solution and to be able to contribute to the city and the restart of the economy and making sure we keep our citizens safe," Holzer said.

Lacuna Health was founded in 2018. 

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