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Why Is Contact Tracing So Vital?


Things have changed tremendously over the past year, with the global pandemic changing lives and economies in unimaginable ways. Not only this, but people have become used to a whole new vocabulary that includes terms such as social distancing, coronavirus, lockdown, and contact tracing. These are all terms associated with the virus, and when it comes to contact tracing, the idea is to try and reduce the spread of infection.

Contact tracing has become a vital part of the fight against COVID for various reasons. The main point of this process is to try and stop those who may be infected with the virus from mixing with other people. A lot of people do not have the symptoms of COVID, or the symptoms may not be present yet even though the person is infected. This means that they are likely to mix with other people and unknowingly pass the infection on.

What Do Contact Tracers Do?

Contact tracers have a very specific job, and it is all geared toward slowing down the spread of the infection. They get in touch with people who have been diagnosed with COVID to find out more about who they have interacted with. They then try to get in touch with these contacts to advise them that they have been exposed to the virus so that they can then limit their own interactions and get themselves tested.

While contact tracers do try to get in touch with infected people and those exposed to the infection several times, they often do not manage to get in touch with the people they are calling. As our contact tracing infographic shows, tracers are only able to get in touch with a percentage of those infected with COVID and a percentage of those who have been exposed through interactions.

One of the biggest problems that can affect the vital process of contact tracing is that so many Americans will not answer calls from unknown numbers. Moreover, many do not bother to try and find out who was calling, with some assuming it must be a nuisance call, cold callers, or other unwanted calls. Using something as simple as a reverse phone number tool can help to identify these unknown callers, and this could go a long way toward enhancing the efforts to reduce infection.

A Crucial Process

There is no doubt that contact tracing is a crucial process that can prove invaluable when it comes to reducing the spread of COVID. However, it is very much dependent on people answering the calls from contact tracers so they can be informed about the situation. The fewer people that answer the calls, the higher the risk of the infection spreading and spiraling out of control.

Taking simple steps to identify the caller while this pandemic continues can help people to protect others including their loved ones. Knowing that they have been exposed gives them the chance to get tested and avoid contact with others until they have confirmation of whether they are safe to do so.