The Christian Science Monitor

As US cases soar, 'coronavirus detectives' face new strain

When a novel coronavirus first began to spread in February, U.S. public health officials reached for a tried-and-tested method: contact tracing. By isolating potential spreaders and finding out who else they may have infected, “coronavirus detectives” try to tamp down outbreaks. 

In hard-hit cities like New York and Boston, contact tracers were quickly overwhelmed by the growth in cases, and politicians turned instead to lockdowns to slow transmission and lessen the pressure on hospitals. 

Since then, health departments across the country have built up their tracing capacity, training a corps of workers, including students and volunteers, in how to contact people who have been exposed to the virus, and to monitor and support those who isolate themselves. 

But as cases surge

“Not about surveillance”A marathon, not a sprint

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