Contact Tracing

Contact Tracing Concerns Grow as CA COVID Cases Increase

San Francisco has trained 140 disease detectives who are tracking cases seven days a week.

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California became the second state in America to report more than 400,000 COVID-19 cases Tuesday, joining New York.

Some are describing the two as switching places, with New York now appearing to flatten the curve as California's case count skyrockets. 

"The proportion of people who are surviving ICU stays is going up and up and up,” said Dr. George Rutherford from UCSF.  

That was good news from Rutherford, who was a key leader in setting up California's contact tracing efforts. 

As of now, San Francisco has trained 140 disease detectives who are tracking cases seven days a week.

Now the bad news is that with growing delays between when people are getting tested, and when they're getting results, the risk of COVID-positive patients infecting others grows.

“If they’ve been really exposed and get tested, they should be self-quarantining before they get the test result back,” said Rutherford. 

California, once dubbed the “California miracle,” for its ability to flatten the curve, is now  adding more than 9,000 new COVID-19 cases per day.

New York, once the country’s epicenter, adds just over 700 a day. 

“First and foremost as we started to reopen, people started to take more chances,” said Rutherford. “There’s a large, large, large outbreak in the Latino, low-income, essential worker, densely housed communities throughout the state.”

Plus, a resistance to face coverings. 

“We’re going to have to get over it and everybody needs to wear masks,” the doctor said. “That is when you step out of the door of your house, you need to have a mask on.”

Until that happens, contact tracers can expect to face more seven-day work weeks.

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