In recent weeks, city health officials were able to ditch the phone tree, thanks to a new computer system created by a corps of programmers from the volunteer group Code for Baltimore. The system can automatically email — and will soon be able to text — the facilities to assess needs and provide information.
In the first few weeks of operation, the system has been used to email surveys asking about specific needs related to the coronavirus pandemic, checking, for example, whether facilities lack personal protective gear or whether they need help understanding government orders on testing or infection control. Health Department staff can respond directly or point facilities to outside resources.
The effort to create the system began in March and accelerated when the scope of the pandemic was becoming clear.
Seniors and their communities have been hit particularly hard by covid-19, the disease caused by the virus. State