Now Is Not the Time to Leave Contact Tracking

The rise of the Delta’s diversity has aroused all memories — the concern amid the first Covid wave in the spring of 2020, the crushing of the winter surge, the relentless debate about “non-drug interventions” like masking and distance, concerns about children and school. But it doesn’t seem to be back in conversations about contact tracking, one of the very first hopes of having a pandemic in the earliest days.

Contact tracking has been declared dead several times before. Four and a half months after Covid-19 was identified in the US, the New York Times said it has failed in many states. And it really does, if failure is equated with not stopping the pandemic. A year later, as the country faces another deadly wave, it seems to have disappeared from the equation almost entirely. Earlier this summer, a Covid-19 vision of JAMA titled “Beyond Tomorrow” describes four possible outcomes for SARS-CoV-2-eradication, prevention, survival, and eradication. It does not include any mention of contact tracking. The articles end in covid in July and August at The Atlantic and Cerebration, from reporters leading the coronavirus coverage, both said nothing about the role of contact tracking in ending the pandemic.

What received media attention too late: A recently The Kaiser Health News story depicts contract workers and a public tired of the Delta surge. “Contact tracking falls on the side of the aisle,” it said. The story documents even smaller workers in states like Arkansas and Texas to alert people that they have been exposed to the virus and advises them to be alone. And the new Texas budget bans state funding for tracking everyone.

In June of this year, before Delta became the dominant offense in the U.S. and the pandemic disease sought to ease, survey by the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security and NPR found that many states were restricting their contact tracking efforts. But just as masking and social isolation is now on their return, so too should tracking be contacted. Fighting the latest variant of the world’s newest virus will require the help of one of the oldest public health methods-one credited with playing a key role in ending smallpox and SARS-1. , and that has been commonly used for many years (along with vaccines and treatments) with tuberculosis, measles, Ebola, and various STDs. As the country struggles to contain another wave, contact tracking will not be allowed to disappear.

From the very in the early days of the pandemic, contact tracking had a hard time with it. “It started too late,” said Emily Gurley, an epidemiologist at the Johns Hopkins Center for Global Health, who created online course to train contact tracers, with over a million sign ups remotely around the world. State and local health officials began preparing for the spring of 2020, but were hampered by a lack of readily available testing – asymptomatic subjects were unknown, and their contacts were unknown. Over time, government efforts to contact tracers have slowed down, slowing down seizures when contact tracers detailed vaccination efforts, which fell during good coping with traps. with incident.

The methods deployed for contact tracking in this pandemic – personal calls and non -personal apps – are far from perfect, and there is a lot of concern about privacy. As reported by WIRED, the use of apps for contact tracking somewhat failed in the US. In the UK, people are complaining about a “pingdemik” – getting notifications from a widely used app that is very sensitive to people on the next level can get a message even if they don’t already have the same room with the affected person. In one week this summer, 690,000 people in England and Wales received isolated notices, according to The Washington Post, and businesses complained that many workers stayed at home that they could not keep open. Apps, let’s say, are an improvement now.

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