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KPBS Midday Edition

Contact Tracing: How Does It Work?

An undated artist rendering of the coronavirus.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
An undated artist rendering of the coronavirus.
California Gov. Gavin Newsom announced a plan this week to train 10,000 contact tracers. The state is also exploring the use of digital apps to backtrack the movement of sick people and find out who they may have been in contact with.

The process of lifting stay-at-home orders in California depends in large part on the state’s ability to test for COVID-19 and identify those who may have been exposed to the virus. That work is done through a process known as contact tracing.

On Wednesday, California Governor Gavin Newsom announced a plan to train 10,000 people to be contact tracers. The state is also exploring the use of digital apps to backtrack the movement of sick people and find out who they may have been in contact with in order to slow the spread of the virus.

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Andrea LaCroix, professor of epidemiology at UC San Diego, joined Midday Edition on Thursday to discuss how contract tracing works and why its crucial in the fight against the coronavirus.