WINDSOR, ONT. -- A contract tracer is assigned to every person who tests positive for COVID-19.

And each one needs to be tracked down — it’s a lot of work.

“Every one of our cases has maybe two to three contacts per case,” Windsor-Essex County Health Unit CEO Theresa Marentette said.

The province sent reinforcements to Windsor who started working the first week of December.

“We have 133 people dedicated to COVID and about 51 of those are specifically for case management and now we have 23 new people for contact management,” Marentette said.

The health unit admits COVID-19 positive patients sometimes have to wait up to two days to speak to someone.

Windsor Regional Hospital is helping by assigning staff to call patients who test positive with their results as soon as they come in.

And now, the City of Windsor and County of Essex have offered their employees.

“As we’ve moved into grey, lockdown, the City of Windsor has sent employees to work from home, we have extra capacity we could redeploy much as we did in the first wave, to help the health unit,” said Windsor Mayor Drew Dilkens.

The WECHU said contact tracers are specialized not only in interviewing patients, but also have a background in understanding infection control.

“I’m not sure if that expertise is out there but I recognize that people are wanting to help and for us right now, it’s that specialty kind of service,” Marentette said.

Rather, they are hinting at wanting COVID positive patients to help get the ball rolling.

“We may change our process to ask these cases to call their contacts directly, immediately and public health may or may not circle back with these contacts in the long term,” Windsor-Essex medical officer of health Dr. Wajid Ahmed said.

Marentette is planning to present a specified plan to their board of directors at Thursday’s meeting.