LOS ANGELES: Officials in California are using a contact tracing process to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus as businesses reopen in the state.
The process will focus particularly on asymptomatic carriers and people who may be unaware they have contracted the coronavirus.
“The point is to find all of those cases that are positive, we isolate them and provide services for them. We also ask them who did they come into close contact with and for us close contact right now definition is within 6 feet even if wearing a mask and over fifteen minutes. Dr. Alina Doorian told Arab News.
The Associate Dean for public health practice and project lead in the California contact tracing training program added: “Then contact tracers reach out every single one of those contacts to let them know that there’s a possible exposure to ask them how they’re feeling to see if they need to test etc. if we can do that and then also to ask them to self quarantine for 14 days.”
After an order from California Governor Gavin Newsome, Dr. Doorian has been training government employees to become tracers, prepping them with medical knowledge and communication skills.
“So far we’ve trained close to about four thousand people at this point in time but the idea is to train up to ten thousand as quickly as possible and quite possibly up to twenty thousand,” she said.
Contact tracing is all the more important now that shutdown orders are being lifted and people are leaving self isolation.
“The problem is people think it’s finished and that’s actually the bigger problem right now we’re actually still seeing cases rising,” Dr. Doorian explained. “Because we don’t have a vaccine yet or a treatment, the idea is to stop transmission and break the chains of transmission.”