by Sue Dremann / Palo Alto Weekly
Uploaded: Tue, Jun 9, 2020, 12:25 pm
Santa Clara County is calling for the public to help ramp up its COVID-19 contact-tracing program. The effort needs an estimated 1,000 volunteers and workers by July 27, public health staff said.
Contact tracing identifies and tests people who were exposed to someone with COVID-19 so they can be tested and quarantined.
The county has trained nearly 180 tracers, Public Health Department staff told the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors Health and Hospital Committee on June 4.
But the plan is to scale up the number of tracers in the coming weeks to 1,000 — more than twice the size of the existing Public Health Department. The intensive case investigation and contact tracing would need to operate for at least a year, according to a staff report.
Contact tracing helps prevent a spike in coronavirus cases by stopping transmission of the virus. The county is currently experiencing 50 to 75 new cases per day. Each patient has an average of 40 people with whom they’ve been in contact who could potentially contract the virus and spread it, according to the public health department.