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"San Francisco recruits army of social workers, librarians and investigators to track Covid-19"

The Guardian interviewed Dr. David Hayes-Bautista, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health professor in the Department of Health Policy and Management, on how California’s effort to use contact tracing in order to fight the pandemic may be received by the state’s immigrant communities.

Friday, May 1, 2020

San Francisco has assembled an army of librarians, social workers, attorneys, investigators and medical students to find and warn anyone and everyone who may have been exposed to Covid-19.

Large-scale tracing efforts have been proven to work in other countries, including South Korea and Germany, and are considered crucial to get the United States economy back on track. But tracing efforts in a nation as large and diverse as the US come with unique challenges, and California, the country’s most populous state, is one of the first to start to take those challenges on.

To set up an effective contact tracing program, California will have to increase its health department staff five or 10-fold, experts told the Guardian. The state is eventually planning to recruit 10,000 tracers, according to Gavin Newsom, the state’s governor – and test up to 80,000 people each day, relying on paid health workers and volunteers. But some municipalities are ahead of their curve, and are already beginning to recruit and train tracers.