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Assistant Professor of Biostatistics at @UF specializing in emerging infectious diseases and vaccine study design. @HarvardBiostats PhD. Tweets my own. She/her.

May 13, 2020 4:43 PM
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A big challenge with contact tracing when community transmission is widespread… it’s hard to keep up. In this article, a Fairfax county epidemiologist describes how they are empowering citizens to perform their own tracing.

A brief excerpt…


“In Fairfax County, a mailer was sent to every resident detailing what they should start doing if they come down with symptoms. That’s because while testing capacity has increased, it still remains limited — and that means…” 2/4

“…tracing may have to begin without the benefit of a positive test. [The mailer] asks the person who’s been sick to document the day, the date, the time that their symptoms began, to list all the people who are in their household and all the others who they came in…” 3/4

“… close contact with, during that infectious period starting 48 hours before they became ill. And then it goes through how they should talk to their close contacts. And by doing this now, we’re extending our reach.” 4/4

Addendum: Of course we still need a lot more testing and trained public health professionals, but education has been always been an important pillar of public health. In this case, it could also make a contact tracer’s job that much easier by reducing recall bias.