What it’s like being a COVID-19 contact tracer in San Francisco

Hosted by

Contact tracing is key to knowing exactly how widespread the novel coronavirus is, and where hotspots are. Photo credit: Pixabay.

Ramping up contact tracing is a key part in lifting stay-at-home orders. That means tracing who an infected person has been in contact with, and testing those contacts. 

Governor Gavin Newsom says California needs to train 10,000 people to do this kind of work. He says having enough tracers available will be one of the things needed to lift social distancing orders. 

We hear from a contact tracer working with the San Francisco Department of Public Health: Lucia Abascal. She also worked as a doctor in Mexico before moving to San Franscio to get her PhD at UCSF. 

“We’re coming up with this as we go, so we’re trying to come up with a system in which no clinical or public health background is needed,” Abascal says.


 Lucia Abascal is a contact tracer in San Francisco. Photo courtesy of Lucia Abascal.
Credits

Guest:
Lucia Abascal - contact tracer working with the San Francisco Department of Public Health, PhD student at UCSF

Host:
Madeleine Brand

Producers:
Sarah Sweeney, Michell Eloy, Amy Ta, Alexandra Sif Tryggvadottir, Rosalie Atkinson, Brian Hardzinski, Angie Perrin