Andrea Valencia worked the phone furiously day after long, dark day this past January, racing to reach people around Richmond, Va., who had tested positive for Covid-19.
As many as 500 new cases were being reported daily in the area. She and colleagues at the local public-health department had only a few minutes to spend on each one—if they could reach the person at all. They didn’t have time to help people to isolate or quarantine, or make sure that they did.
Now, with just 10 or so new Covid-19 cases coming in each day, the team is aiming to stop the virus in its tracks, the 35-year-old public-health investigator said. She calls every person who is reported as a positive case, as well as their close contacts, and urges them to isolate or quarantine. She also offers help.
“It’s huge, honestly, that we’re able to sometimes have multiple phone calls in a week with one person,” Ms. Valencia said. “We’re able to walk through it with them.”
As the pandemic slows in the U.S., public-health departments say they are finally able to reach for the traditional goal of contact tracing: stopping new outbreaks.
Read More News: Covid-19 Contact Tracers Race Against Delta Variant in the U.S.