You’ve probably heard the term “robust testing and tracing” a few times during the pandemic. While it’s not hard to figure out what coronavirus testing is, some people might be a bit thrown off by the term contact tracing. So, what, exactly, is contact tracing? What does a contact tracer do? And why are they in such high demand right now?
Let’s take a closer look at the fastest-growing sector in 2020.
Contact tracing is a method by which a medical professional uses interviews, surveillance data or other methods to determine who someone has contacted recently. The purpose of this tracing of recent contacts is to determine who the person could have infected. Typically, contact tracing is only important for people infected with COVID-19 who were not self-isolating and could have spread it.
Once the infected person’s contacts have been effectively traced, they can be tested for COVID-19. Should they come back positive, they can be quarantined to prevent the further spread of the virus. In theory, this is the most direct way to curtail the spread of a virus. Quarantine the sick, and figure out who that entails. In practice, things get messy.
Coronavirus is Crafty Prey
The SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes COVID-19 is a crafty quarry. It can spread very easily from person to person via respiratory droplets. This makes even passing interactions between healthy people and infected people potential infection sites. What’s more, in most younger people, the virus can often have little to no symptoms.
This results in a high rate of ambulatory cases. In layman’s terms, a lot of people with COVID-19 accidentally spread it around by just walking all over. This creates a huge problem for contact tracers, as some confirmed cases could have interacted with hundreds of people while unknowingly carrying the virus.
As such, it’s important for a contact tracer to help confirmed cases remember their movements and contacts.
COVID-19 Upends Economy
As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to disrupt the economy, robust testing and contact tracing seem to be the way out. Many businesses are taking this time to update their small business software, expand their operations and prepare for a comeback. Meanwhile, people stuck at home have had ample time to work on their resumes and catch up on TV.
Suffice it to say, if you’re looking for good work that will also help the public, apply for work as a contact tracer. You might help things get back to normal that much faster.