WHAT IS “CONTACT TRACING” IN PUBLIC HEALTH?

WHAT IS “CONTACT TRACING” IN PUBLIC HEALTH?

Courtesy: www.CertifiedMedicalPlanner.org

When a patient tests positive, you make a list of everyone they came in close contact with. Then, you find those people and make sure they self-isolate before infecting others.

That sounds straightforward, but contact tracing a new patient typically takes three days, which is “an insurmountable hurdle in the U.S., with its low numbers of public health workers and tens of thousands of new cases every day.”

ELSEWHERE: South Korea used high-tech contact tracing to tame its outbreak. The government compiled GPS data, credit card swipes, and other info into a public log showing where COVID-19 patients had traveled.

Some countries (including the U.S.) are trying other methods, including looking at smart-phone location data and developing Bluetooth systems that provide warnings if you’ve crossed paths with an infected person.

PROBLEMS: Despite its widespread use in places like Singapore, contact tracing has raised concerns about privacy and governments following citizens’ whereabouts.

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PODCAST: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hlHCLXv2HQs

PODCAST: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CQBO_DHBtzw

And so, Contact Tracing is a term you’ll be hearing a lot more of in the coming weeks.

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