May 14, 2020 COVID-19

May 12 Tele-Briefing: Recovery and Reopening – The Role of Contact Tracing

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United States of Care continues its role bringing experts together and connecting them with health care stakeholders to assist in formulating durable solutions to ensure all Americans have access to care.

On Tuesday, May 12, we hosted a tele-briefing on contact tracing, Recovery and Reopening: The Role of Contact Tracing.

During the briefing four experts in different areas of national and local efforts to scale national contact tracing shared their expertise.

Emily Barson, USofCare’s Executive Director shared an an overview of USofCare’s work related to COVID-19 and contact tracing.

“…states with both Republican and Democratic leadership are ramping up contact tracing because it is a critical component to safely reopening schools and businesses while limiting the spread of coronavirus. [Our] COVID-19 focused series brings frontline experts to congressional staff and health care system stakeholders, as well as state and local officials. We’re proud that we try to do this in a unique way – by bringing together different perspectives to speak with folks like you. From national experts, to those doing the on-the-ground work in their own communities, to everyday people all across our country.”

Mollyann Brodie, PhD, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer at the Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF) and Executive Director of KFF’s Public Opinion and Survey Research Program shared public opinion data about how people view contact tracing.

“…it’s really important to take a step back and recognize that as a nation we’re having a really rare moment of a shared collective experience. As a country we have a collective experience and that’s an incredibly rare thing for us to find in public opinion polling. This great agreement across the nation.”

Caitlin Rivers, PhD, MPH. Senior Scholar at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security and an Assistant Professor in the Department of Environmental Health and Engineering at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health shared her research on improving epidemic preparedness and response through the use of modeling and forecasting, data standards and data sharing, and public health policy.

“Right now, most of us are staying home to slow the spread. We are breaking chains of transmission by spending as little time in the community as possible. But what many states are starting to do and what we all want to work towards is reincorporating those community activities and lifting some of those restrictions. Contact tracing is how we will get from here to there. That is how we will safely be able to spend more time in the community and reintroduce those activities.”

George T. Roberts, Jr., CEO of the Northeast Texas Public Health District, a local Health Department established by the City of Tyler and Smith County, shared the on-the-ground efforts of contact tracing in northeastern Texas.

“…the Gold Standard on contact tracing is going to be a verbal conversation with somebody.”

Thank you to our speakers. Click to listen to the full call recording.