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City software company helps with COVID-19 contact tracing efforts 

IMAGE | Courtesy Veoci

A key way to stop the spread of the coronavirus and get life back to normal is through contact tracing. 

Who is sick, and who could they have infected? By answering these questions and keeping those exposed isolated, it can help reduce transmission. Government and public health officials have focused on the need for not only social distancing, but increased testing and contact tracing.

A New Haven software company, Veoci, headquartered at 195 Church St., has been helping the city of New Haven and other municipalities including Trumbull, with their contact tracing efforts. 

The business provides various digital services, including software for municipal emergency management, such as for large storms, and now, the pandemic.

Veoci has had a longstanding relationship with New Haven, which used its software to collect and map information in the wake of Hurricane Sandy in 2012.

Nathaniel Ellis, Veoci’s co-founder and director of strategic solutions, said the company has helped clients since the start of the crisis with meeting their emergency management needs.

According to Ellis, the company’s software is useful for a wide variety of types of incidents, with a pandemic being just one of them.

Veoci’s software has been used around the country and world, including in emergency situations from severe snowstorms, hurricanes and flooding to periods of civil unrest. A Pennsylvania county has used its software for managing drive-through COVID-19 testing, and the east African nation of Tanzania is using it to track ebola outbreaks, for example.

“We spend our days imagining the worst possible things that could happen, and working with our clients to help them plan for and mitigate them,” Ellis said. “New Haven has always been very good to us. It has been a great place to start and grow. It’s great to be playing a role in a situation that is unprecedented.”

Because of its existing relationship with New Haven, Veoci was able to help the city quickly as the pandemic hit, according to Ellis.

Since the pandemic started, the company has helped some 300 of its customers worldwide implement software solutions to help them through the crisis. 

“Our work with New Haven and Norwalk positioned public-health officials in those cities to quickly and proactively mount local contact tracing programs before a state system was in place, saving time and potentially lives,” Ellis said.

Through its products, health officials can collect information on positive cases, and monitor contacts and exposure history, while also keeping tabs on followup actions.

New Haven has been working to trace contacts to reduce transmissions. The city has had an influx of calls due to the virus, and has been using Veoci’s system to manage and track information it gathers. This has included reported infections, symptoms, calls per day, and resolutions of each call, for example.

Using Veoci’s software, approximately 15 nurses and 170 volunteers have been working to identify and contact those who may have come into contact with an infected person.

New Haven Health Director Maritza Bond said the company helped as officials have scrambled to cope with an onslaught of calls and ever-changing developments related to the virus.

Thomas Balcezak, MD, chief clinical officer for Yale New Haven Health and Yale Medicine, has said the only way the public will be completely safe from the virus is when there is a vaccine which provides long-lasting immunity. 

Without such a vaccine, Balcezak said there needs to be frequent testing and isolating people who test positive. 

Meanwhile, the state is ramping up a statewide contact tracing system. 

According to Ellis, the software is also helpful because it helps users track where they are spending their money and resources in response to a disaster, which can be useful when seeking federal disaster relief.

Contact Michelle Tuccitto Sullo at

Editor's note: An earlier version of this story indicated that Norwalk is using the company's services for contact tracing, based on a company announcement. The correct town is Trumbull. 

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