HealthDay Reports: As States Reopen, What Is 'Contact Tracing' and How Does it Work?
Contact tracing dates back centuries and is one of the oldest public health tactics, but what is it, and how can it help prevent future waves of COVID-19?
MONDAY, May 4, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- Many U.S. states are preparing to emerge from their quarantine cocoons, hoping to get their economies back on track.
But experts are concerned that these states have not yet created the public health infrastructure needed to safely reopen without causing a second wave of COVID-19 infections.
In particular, tens of thousands of new public health workers trained in contact tracing are needed to have any hope of heading off future outbreaks in local communities, warned Crystal Watson, a senior scholar with the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security.
Contact tracing "is the best tool we have to manage this in an ongoing way and allow our economy to open up again," said Watson, who recently co-authored a major report on public health's ongoing role in reopening America.
Watson estimates that the United States will need at least 100,000 workers trained in contact tracing across the nation, at a bare minimum, to keep COVID-19 at a manageable level.