If you haven’t encountered the term already, you can expect to hear a lot more about “contract tracing” in the weeks and months to come as experts debate how and when to lift social distancing measures.
“Contact tracing is one of the most significant tools available for the control of the spread of infectious diseases,” says Dr. Vivek Goel, the University of Toronto’s vice-president, research and innovation, and strategic initiatives, and a professor at the Dalla Lana School of Public Health.
Contact tracing involves identifying cases of disease and interviewing people to find out who they have been in close contact with during their contagious period. Since there are no preventive treatments or vaccines for COVID-19, anyone identified as having been exposed to the virus would be advised to self-isolate for 14 days and monitor their symptoms.
COVID-19: What’s Next is a bi-weekly podcast created by Goel in collaboration with a University of Toronto Communications team led by producer Lisa Lightbourn.
In episode eight, Goel – a renowned public health expert and founding head of Public Health Ontario, which was set up in response to the 2003 SARS outbreak – explains how contact tracing works and why it is an important tool to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
Note: The information in this podcast is current as of the posting date. Listeners should consult their local public health agency for the latest information in their jurisdiction.