Contact tracing

An established public health practice and a critical part of the epidemic response strategy. It involves finding and contacting people who have been in close contact with people who have an infectious disease.

It has been used widely and effectively during recent Ebola outbreaks in sub-Saharan Africa, as well as during outbreaks of polio and other diseases, and it is now being used during COVID-19.

As soon as a person tests positive for COVID-19, contact tracers will track down the people they recently interacted with either in-person, over the telephone, or by using a smartphone app. When contacts are identified, they will be asked to self-quarantine and self-monitor for any symptoms. In this way, it’s hoped the chain of infection can be broken before more people are infected with the SARS-CoV-2 virus.


Epidemiology Infectious Disease Prevention Transmission