As COVID-19 cases explode in different parts of the US, contact tracers are overwhelmed and some health officials appear to be giving up on tracking the virus, Axios reports.
Once “an area spins out of control, trying to trace back each chain of transmission can feel like scooping cupfuls of water from a flood,” according to The New York Times
More challenges for contact tracers:
- 41% of American adults said they are unwilling or unlikely to talk to public health officials by phone or text, a Pew Research Center survey reveals.
- 80% of respondents said they do not answer calls from unknown numbers.
- Political leanings influence cooperation: ~2/3 of Democrats expressed openness to talking to contact tracers, vs. ~1/2 of Republicans.
- 63% of those more familiar with the concept of contact tracing expressed greater inclination to comply.
- 93% said they’d likely quarantine themselves for at least 14 days if a public health official advised them to after testing positive for COVID-19.
Where It Works: Taiwan just passed 200 days without any locally transmitted cases—which former Taiwanese Vice President Chen Chien-jen, an epidemiologist, chalks up to “very careful contact tracing, and very stringent quarantines of close contacts," CNN reports.