What Does Contact Tracer Actually Do?

Contact tracing is a technique that epidemiologists and health officials have long used in the fight against diseases such as HIV and tuberculosis. It is an important tool for identifying those who may be ill and preventing the spread of the infection to others. As the country continues to reopen, contact tracing can play a large role in our efforts to contain proliferation. But many people seem to be wary of what the tracking contract might do and what it means if one of them lends a helping hand. Here are the facts.

While some have discussed using contact tracking apps, contract tracking has traditionally been done by humans. A contact tracer is one who identifies all people the sick person may have come into contact with during the time they were infectious. Armed with this list, the contract tracker asks all attendees to see if they are experiencing any symptoms and to advise them to quarantine or self-isolate. (Quick reminder: Quarantine is when an exposed person stays at home and avoids contact with others just in case , while isolation is when a person who has developed symptoms stays at home and avoids contact with others.)

When they find someone with symptoms, the contact tracer will repeat the process, going through all the people they may have come in contact with to identify more people who may have been exposed.

So, if a contact tracker contacts you with news that you have been potentially exposed, what happens next?

Contact tracers are not allowed to divulge names

First of all, if a contact tracker contacts you, they are not allowed to tell you who may have infected you . They are only allowed to tell you that you have potentially been in contact with someone who was sick. This information is confidential to patients.

If you have symptoms, the contact tracker will ask you to tell about all the places you have been and all the people you have interacted with. This will include the relative amount of time that you have been in business or with a specific person so they can gauge the relative levels of exposure. Currently, the CDC’s current recommendation for close contact is defined as “someone who was within 6 feet of an infected person for at least 15 minutes, from 48 hours before the onset of the illness until the patient was isolated.”

The contact tracker will then call back all the people or businesses you named and they will all be informed that they have been exposed. Again, they will not be given your name.

Working with the contact tracer is voluntary . In no case is it required to list all the places where he was, or all the people with whom he contacted. However, providing this information will allow potentially infected people to know that they are at risk and to behave accordingly to prevent the spread of the infection to others.

Contact tracers are expected to offer training and guidance

Part of the job of tracing contacts is to educate people about what their impact means. This includes advising people on the steps they should take after exposure, from staying at home for 14 days to self-monitoring for symptoms.

Tracking contacts requires many skills, only one of which is medical knowledge about COVID-19. Contact indicators should be able to convince complete strangers to provide them with detailed information about their lives, while remaining sensitive to the fact that people who are sick or just learning that they may have been exposed to a dangerous illness will experience a wide range of potentially emotional states. reactions. Contact tracers also need to have the means to actually get into a fight with everyone on their list, which is not always easy .

Self-isolation and quarantine are still voluntary

Self-isolation and quarantine are currently voluntary, although there may be some legal implications if you do not comply with your request. Both the state government and the federal government have the power to legislate isolation and quarantine . However, this is very rare and has not happened at the moment.

Hope you never get a call from Contact Tracker. But if you do, at least you now know what to expect.

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