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What to know about contact tracing "coronavirus?

What to know about contact tracing "coronavirus?


What to know about contact tracing


First it was testing and PPE, then ventilators: The next big coronavirus hurdle for the U.S. is contact tracing.
Why it matters: This is a must-have for reopening while limiting the death toll.

The big picture: Contact tracing is a simple concept. Most countries use a combination of cellphone apps and human contact tracers to track down everyone who came into contact with an infected patient.
Those people are then tested and isolated if positive.
If you act quickly enough, outbreaks can be contained before becoming hotspots.
Humans are slow and do the process manually, much like a journalist reporting out a story.

Apps are fast, using Bluetooth signals to rapidly tell you who you came into contact with. But they come with major privacy and effectiveness concerns.
Apple and Google have pushed for public health agencies to adopt their privacy-oriented model, the AP reports. The tech firms are offering an app-building interface they say will work smoothly on billions of phones when the software rolls out sometime this month.
Between the lines: The U.S. has made big strides on testing, but we still don't have the scale needed to pull this off.
NPR found that states plan to hire more than 36,000 contact tracing staffers in the short-term.
But Johns Hopkins estimates the number needed exceeds 100,000.
The bottom line: Contact tracing won't realistically slow the current out-of-control outbreaks in the U.S, but if we get the people, tech and funding fixed fast, it could help alleviate some of the pain from wave two.



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