Maryland Department of Health
Going the Extra Mile to Help Others with COVID
“I am here to help the community in all aspects. If you are unable to come out to the site, that’s not a problem. I’ll come to you. And I’ll do the swap in my PPE and bring it back to the Health Department.” – LaRonda McCloria, Kent County Health Department
LaRonda McCloria is the only full-time contact tracer at the Kent County Health Department, and has been on the job since June 2020. Her primary goal has always been to help the community as much as possible by making people aware of resources available and what they can do to prevent COVID-19.
Ronda’s motto is simple: Be patient, listen to clients first, and then speak. “There are many times I’ve been on the phone for an hour and a half, listening to people tell me their life story and being their support system. I enjoy being that local community support. It gives me a good feeling, that I helped someone to stop the spread of COVID-19,” Ronda said.
Helping members of the community has been the most rewarding part of the job for Ronda. “I love going through the whole interview process and completing that interview. Because once I complete it, I feel like “Yes! I got another one!’ I know it sounds silly. But to me, that’s the most rewarding, to give people knowledge of COVID, quarantine information and local resources available to them.”
Ronda often goes above and beyond for many of her clients. “Last year when it was snowing, I called a lady and told her that she had COVID. She said she didn’t have any food in her house, and there was around four or five inches of snow out and the roads were bad. Her daughter didn’t live around town. She was the only one in her house. She burst out crying, and I got a little filled up with tears. It was a Sunday, and I was at home, so I went to our local grocery store, and I got her the essentials like some milk, bread, cereal, chicken nuggets, etc. things that would be easier for her to fix, and I took it and I knocked on her door. I left it there and I got back in my car. I called her and let her know that now she had food that should last her for a week,” Ronda recalled.
Even though Ronda hopes that COVID is no longer a pandemic, she believes that her job as a contact tracer will be necessary for some time to come. She continues to carry on with her personal mission, doing her outreach within the Kent County community to better educate residents, and offer a compassionate listening ear for anyone who needs that as well.