Tag Archives: contact tracing

Scam Alert: A Real COVID Contact Tracer Won’t Ask You For Money : Shots – Health News : NPR

A loved one’s health could depend on the truth if you get a call from a real contact tracer about your exposure to the coronavirus. But beware impostors who ask you for payment or to click on a link.

3 minute podcast and full story at Source: >Scam Alert: A Real COVID Contact Tracer Won’t Ask You For Money : Shots – Health News : NPR

“State officials and federal agencies warn there’s a new phone scam circulating: Callers posing as COVID-19 contact tracers are trying to pry credit card or bank account information from unsuspecting victims…Legitimate contact tracers don’t ask for payment or seek other financial information.

“Be discerning, but don’t avoid real tracers

“Legitimate tracing calls might be preceded by a text message, notifying patients of an upcoming call from the health department. Then, in that initial call, the legitimate tracer will seek to confirm an address and date of birth, especially if you are the COVID-positive patient, Watson says.

“They ask about your identity,” Watson says, “to make sure you are the person they are trying to reach so they don’t disclose potentially private information to the wrong person.”

“Anytime someone calls you for information, you should be concerned about who is calling,” says Dr. Georges Benjamin, executive director of the American Public Health Association. “If they are legitimate, you can say, ‘Give me your name and phone number’ and you can always call them back” after doing some checking.

“Be concerned if you get an initial text asking you to click on a link, which might be spam and could download software onto your phone, the Federal Trade Commission warns.

“Unlike a legitimate text message from a health department, which only wants to let you know they’ll be calling, this message includes a link to click,” the FTC says. And contact tracers in most regions do not ask your immigration or financial status.

“Another clear red flag: being asked for your Social Security number. Don’t ever divulge that. And beware of any caller who gives you names of the COVID-19 patients they say led them to you — that’s a sign of a scammer.

Continue with full story at source link above.

17 Iconic Joanne The Scammer Tweets As Motivational Posters

COVID-19 Contact Tracing | CDC

>After COVID-19 Contact Tracing Comes Quarantine. Here’s How That Works : Shots – Health News : NPR

Contact tracing is key to slowing the spread of COVID-19 and helps keep you, your family, and your community safe.

Full CDC site on contact tracing at Source: >COVID-19 Contact Tracing | CDC

“Contact tracing is used by health departments to prevent the spread of infectious disease. In general, contact tracing involves identifying people who have an infectious disease (cases) and people who they came in contact with (contacts) and working with them to interrupt disease spread. This includes asking people with COVID-19 to >isolate and their contacts to >quarantine at home voluntarily.

“To prevent the further spread of disease, people who had contact with someone with COVID-19 are encouraged to stay home and maintain social distance (at least 6 feet) from others until 14 days after their last exposure to a person with COVID-19. Contacts should monitor themselves by checking their temperature twice daily and watching for symptoms of COVID-19.

If you are diagnosed with COVID-19, a public health worker may call you to check-in on your health, discuss who you’ve been in contact with, and ask where you spent time while you may have been infectious and able to spread COVID-19 to others. You will also be asked to stay at home and >self-isolate, if you are not doing so already.

Continue at CDC source link above for full details.

Germany’s Contact Tracers Have Been Vital To The Country’s COVID-19 Fight : NPR

>After COVID-19 Contact Tracing Comes Quarantine. Here’s How That Works : Shots – Health News : NPR

Germany’s Contact Tracers Have Been Vital To The Country’s COVID-19 Fight

3 Minute podcast and full story at Source: >Germany’s Contact Tracers Have Been Vital To The Country’s COVID-19 Fight : NPR

“Since the very start of the pandemic Germany has had armies of tracers following the contacts of every confirmed coronavirus case, keeping the number of deaths there relatively low. Germany has had notable success in slowing the spread of the coronavirus. One reason for that is contact tracers – armies of tracers.

“There are around 400 call centers … around Germany, each of them filled with dozens of operators. German Chancellor Angela Merkel has prioritized tracking infection chains as the key to slowing the spread of COVID-19, and she aims for the country to have one tracer per 4,000 people. That’s 20,000 tracers for Germany’s population of 83 million. Dr. Uwe Peters, director of the Pankow District Health Authority, says when the pandemic hit, he scrambled to hire more tracers, quickly doubling his office’s staff.

Tracer Claudia Krummacher says if anyone on the list had contact with the infected person for more than 15 minutes within 6 feet in distance, they’re put under a state-mandated quarantine, monitored and, if necessary, tested. And if they’re positive, the whole tracing cycle begins again. Krummacher helps manage the tracing call center in Pankow. She says at the height of the pandemic, it seemed like the work would never end. Her office would occasionally have a case of an infected school teacher, which meant they had to talk to the parents of hundreds of students, asking the same questions over and over.


After COVID-19 Contact Tracing Comes Quarantine. Here’s How That Works : Shots – Health News : NPR

Public health experts say tracing the close contacts of people infected with the coronavirus and getting them all into quarantine is crucial to stopping the pandemic. That’s easier said than done.

>Self-Quarantine? Isolation? Social Distancing? What They Mean And When To Do Them

Full story of excerpts below at Source: >After COVID-19 Contact Tracing Comes Quarantine. Here’s How That Works : Shots – Health News : NPR

“Contact tracing: What it looks like: Within 24 hours of a positive test, contact tracers reach out to a patient, then trace back two days before symptoms first appeared. They use calendars, social media — anything that can jog a memory. They gather phone numbers, email and physical addresses to track down contacts.

“All of that can take hours. Although each person identified typically has seven or eight contacts, they also can have as many as 100. Co-investigators then interview those contacts to see if they have symptoms and need to be tested.

Tracers also tell each person contacted whether they need to go into isolation (when they have tested positive for the virus or they have COVID-19 symptoms) or quarantine (if they have merely had prolonged contact with someone who has tested positive).

Investigators work to build trust and educate patients on why they need to cooperate. If that doesn’t work, contact tracers may try another approach to help a patient understand why their assistance is needed.

Read much more at source above.

Good news for a change. Coronavirus Antibody Testing Shows Lower Fatality Rate For Infection : Shots – Health News : NPR

Tests for the immune response to the coronavirus are revealing thousands of people who were infected but never got severely ill. The findings suggest the virus is less deadly than it first appeared.

Full story of excerpts below at Source: >Coronavirus Antibody Testing Shows Lower Fatality Rate For Infection : Shots – Health News : NPR

Mounting evidence suggests the coronavirus is more common and less deadly than it first appeared. The evidence comes from tests that detect antibodies to the coronavirus in a person’s blood rather than the virus itself.

The tests are finding large numbers of people in the U.S. who were infected but never became seriously ill. And when these mild infections are included in coronavirus statistics, the virus appears less dangerous. …But even a virus with a fatality rate less than 1% presents a formidable threat.

“That is many times more deadly than seasonal influenza,” ….Studies suggest a healthy young person’s chance of dying from an infection is less than 1 in 1,000. But for someone in poor health in their 90s, it can be greater than 1 in 10...And that means different states in the U.S. should expect different infection fatality rates.


What We Can Learn Today From An Ebola Outbreak : NPR

“It sounds like a movie plot: police discover the body of a young man who’s been murdered. The body tests positive for a deadly infectious disease. Authorities trace the killing to a gang. They race to find the gang members, who may also be incubating the virus. This week on Hidden Brain, we revisit our 2016 story about disease, panic, and how a public health team used psychology to confront an epidemic.

“This scenario actually unfolded in the West African nation of Liberia in 2015. And what followed was a truly unconventional effort by epidemiologists to stop a new Ebola outbreak. It was all done in an effort to overcome what can be the biggest obstacle in public health: a severe lack of trust.

26 min podcast and read more at Source: >What We Can Learn Today From An Ebola Outbreak : NPR

Johns Hopkins launches free online course to train army of contact tracers to slow spread of COVID-19 | Hub

Full story at Source: >Johns Hopkins launches online course to train army of contact tracers to slow spread of COVID-19 | Hub

(Note when you register, selecting the Free option will apply the promotional code discount at the final checkout page of the registration)

“A new Coursera class developed by the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health is now available to train contact tracers on the principles of the public health strategy many consider critical for slowing the spread of COVID-19. The free six-hour course is open to anyone, but taking and passing it will be a requirement for thousands of contact tracers being hired by the state of New York to fight the pandemic.

“Contact Tracing” is available for free to anyone in the world via CourseraA long-used public health strategy, contact tracing aims to break the chain of transmission of infectious diseases. The Coursera class, “COVID-19 Contact Tracing,” teaches the basics of interviewing people diagnosed with the virus, identifying their close contacts who might have been exposed, and providing them guidance for self-quarantine for two weeks.

Even if you stop one or two new infections, you’re preventing many new cases down the line,” Johns Hopkins infectious disease epidemiologist Emily Gurley, the lead instructor of the course, said during a press briefing today. The course is part of ambitious push for contact tracing backed by New York Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo and Michael R. Bloomberg,

“Contact tracing allows us to communicate with people infected with COVID-19, identify those who may have been exposed, and provide all of them with guidance to limit the spread of the disease,” Bloomberg said in a release. “This new training course, which we’re making available online for free, will teach contact tracers how to do this work effectively—and help cities and states across the nation undertake these critical efforts.

“Across the nation, an estimated workforce of 100,000 could be required to help limit the spread of COVID-19 and safely reopen the economy, according to a recent report by the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security.

Social Distancing, Masks Key As States Loosen Restrictions, Researcher Says : NPR

>Mobile Phone Data Show More Americans Are Leaving Their Homes, Despite Orders

>U.S. Coronavirus Testing Still Falls Short. How’s Your State Doing?

>Coronavirus cases: These states face biggest potential shortfalls in hospital ICU beds

Full interview of below at Source: >Social Distancing, Masks Key As States Loosen Restrictions, Researcher Says : NPR

“More and more states are easing restrictions and moving to reopen their economies, and we’re seeing data showing that more and more people are going outside. I spoke about this with Crystal Watson. She’s a senior scholar at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security, and she’s worried about these trends.

“My message would be that social distancing is still the key right now. Even if you’re outside, you need to maintain that distance of over 6 feet. You need to wear a mask, as being recommended by the CDC. And try to avoid people as much as possible because this hasn’t gone away. It will ramp up again as we start to come together.

“I think we will start to see hospitalizations begin to go up again. There’s a bit of a lag as people get infected and they have an incubation period. So we may not see it right away, but we will start to see more cases in hospitals and more very sick people.

“Are you confident that there’s the amount of testing in place that’s needed, the amount of contact tracing in place to move into another phase here? No…I don’t think that there is anywhere in the country right now that truly has the capacities in place to test everyone we need to test and to trace all of their contacts.

“There are states that are doing better, and my state of Maryland is really ramping up testing because they’ve acquired additional tests. But I don’t think anyone’s quite there yet. And those capacities are really, really critical to manage this on a case-by-case basis. Otherwise, I fear that we will see big epidemics of this virus again.

“And it may cause us to have to go back under social distancing measures… I think the focus really should be on creating these capacities both to test and to trace contacts because that’s how we manage this on a case-by-case level. And it will make it much safer going forward.

“It’s also a more sustainable approach because we’re going to need to practice these measures until we hopefully have a safe and effective vaccine. And – so if we are really able to control the virus and find nearly every case, we can prevent a lot of illnesses and deaths and prevent us from having to go back under social distancing measures.


What It Takes To Be A Contact Tracer : NPR Do you have empathy? Welcome to the new economy

Riding the Tidal Wave of the Coming Public Health Economy

5 min podcast >A Day In The Life Of A Coronavirus Contact Tracer

Are the US and state governments being dragged kicking and screaming into an unprecedented massive investment for contact tracing? As governments extol the quick recovery from the virus pandemic, experts keep talking of repeating infection waves since our fragmented bureaucracy cannot get a handle what the virus is really doing in this country until massive resources are committed to tracking it down. Fighting over costs will be swept away into absolute submission and a new economy. Other countries and a few States are leading the way. Watch for new remote and compassionate footwork jobs to start appearing. Contract tracing needs empathy. Everyone is frightened when contacted. — DH

“NPR’s Michel Martin speaks with John Welch, the director of partnerships & operations for Massachusetts’ COVID-19 response at Partners In Health, about their contact tracing program and training.

“Public health experts say that one of the keys to safely lifting stay-at-home orders around the country is contact tracing. So we wanted to spend some time now learning more about what it takes to implement a statewide contact tracing program and how people are being trained for this…

“It is exactly as you described it, a ramp-up at this stage, a lot of quick hiring and, you know, in-depth training and making sure we have the right people who have the right skills but then most importantly people who have the patience and the empathy to listen. They’re reaching out to people who are in crisis and some people who are in acute crisis sort of superimposed on a chronic crisis of maybe poverty or marginalization.

“And those individuals need extra time and not only need it – they deserve it. So these contact tracers are balancing the need for understanding how to do the work while also just being a gentle ear…You know, first and foremost, we’re very sensitive to a variety of populations who might not be interested in anyone who’s sort of affiliated with state government reaching out to them.

“And we’re very sensitive to that and want all those individuals to know that this is a public health activity, that their information is very safe with us and that our interest is in helping them and keeping their families and friends safe.But then the folks who we do get in touch with are actually by and large relieved, you know.

We live in a world now, in this country where to receive health care, you’ve got to go and find it. And this activity is care coming to find you. So while contact tracing is an important epidemiological tool, it’s also an act of caring. And I think by and large people are really relieved to receive that phone call.

6 minute podcast and Continue reading much more of the interview at Source: >What It Takes To Be A Contact Tracer : NPR


4 minute podcast, some excerpt below and much more at >We Asked All 50 States About Their Contact Tracing Capacity. Here’s What We Learned :
“We are investigating the relentless math of containing the pandemic. The next phase of fighting the coronavirus leans heavily on contact tracing. And numbers will measure the result. How many people have tested positive? How many people have they recently contacted? And how quickly can those people be quarantined?

“To establish those numbers, the United States needs a very large workforce of people to do contact tracing. Are we hiring enough people? NPR’s Selena Simmons-Duffin has spent the last week putting that question to officials in every single state, along with Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia. And she’s on the line. Selena, good morning.


INSKEEP: What’d you find?

SIMMONS-DUFFIN: So we were able to get data from 41 states. And the total they currently have added up to 7,300. Most states said they were planning a hiring surge. And after that, we will have 35,600. This is a snapshot from the past week. And a lot is in flux. But that’s our best estimate for what’s planned, more than 35,000 contact tracers nationally.

INSKEEP: Which sounds like a lot. But is that enough?

SIMMONS-DUFFIN: The short answer is not even close. Yesterday on the show, you had some influential former officials saying the country needs 180,000 total. Other estimates have put the number needed at 100,000. Here’s what Tom Frieden, former CDC director, told me about the totals we found.

TOM FRIEDEN: It’s a start. I think an increasing number of health departments around the country recognize the need to substantially scale up activities.