Governor Charlie Baker announced Friday that a community tracing collaborative will launch in Massachusetts by the end of April that aims to investigate every case of coronavirus transmission. The program will be the first of its kind in the nation.

As of Monday, there have been 13,837 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 260 deaths in the state, according to the Department of Public Health. The community tracing collaborative, led by the nonprofit Partners In Health, hopes to track down and monitor each individual who has come in contact with the coronavirus in an effort to stop the spread of the disease.

Dr. Joia Mukherjee, the chief medical officer at Partners In Health, told Jim Bruade on WGBH News’ Greater Boston that this type of public health approach may be the only way to end the pandemic.

“We do not know that social distancing is enough to flatten the curve," Mukherjee said. "If we don’t bring it down to zero — no transmission — it is going to be hard to open [society] back up.”

Mukherjee said that 30 years of underfunded public health programs has made it very difficult for states to employ a similar strategy across the country.

“Because of the defunding of our public institutions, we just don’t have the manpower to do tracing and have much more manpower in hospitals," she said.

There will be around 1,000 people helping the community tracing collaborative, according to Governor Baker. Mukherjee said the most important aspect of the program is to inform people that they have been in contact with the virus so they can properly quarantine for 14 days. If symptoms develop within that time, a test will be sent and the contact tracing would begin over again.

“The idea is to chase down every last case,” Mukherjee said.