What to Know About Contact Tracing
It will start happening in the U.S.
Contact-tracing is coming. Here’s what to expect.
In the next few months, it’s going to happen to a whole lot of us: We’ll get a phone call from a number we don’t recognize, and on the other end of the line will be a person employed by a state or local health department to inform us we’ve been exposed to Covid-19. These calls, and any follow-up testing and subsequent check-ins, are part of the process of contact tracing, a public health strategy seen as critical to epidemic control.
Contact tracing is usually part of an effort to contain an epidemic in its early days, and has historically been used to trace diseases spread by very close or intimate contact, like sexually transmitted infections, bacterial meningitis, and tuberculosis. But the experts creating the strategy for reopening American society think it will likely play an important role in guiding decisions after the coronavirus epidemic has crested.
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