Utilizing Contact Tracing During COVID-19

Contact tracing is a huge component of each community’s plan to re-open.  So, what is it exactly and what do you need know to do it well?  Glad you asked.  CONSTANT staffers have researched the myriad of resources available and compiled the following for you in quick bullets:

The CDC has an in-depth look at the contact tracing process, but the three main parts are: having infected individuals retrace who they’ve been in contact with, contacting those exposed individuals, and asking them to self-isolate and monitor their symptoms.

Contact tracing requires hard and soft skills. Key attributes for contact tracers include: medical term knowledge, respect for patient confidentiality, the ability to build and maintain trust with people, and basic skills in crisis counseling.

The U.S. needs 100,000 contact tracers to help slow the spread. Johns Hopkins University is offering a free online course to get people trained.

Silicon Valley is clamoring to make apps for contact tracing. Here’s what you should know:

  • First, a 5-minute video on how contact tracing apps work (Source: WSJ).
  • Apple and Google’s version will notify individuals when they’ve been exposed but it will not track users’ physical movements (for privacy) and it’s opt-in only.
  • Some state and local govs are developing their own apps.
  • What could go wrong? Iceland’s app seems ineffective, India’s app (used by 100 million people) was hacked, the UK’s app doesn’t work on older phones, & data could be used to harm users.

Did you know, costs for contact tracing are eligible for reimbursement? If you need staff to help with contact tracing, reach out to us at [email protected]