As of July 31, 2020, Contact Tracing has been transitioned to a department within UT Health Austin and no longer requires volunteers. Thank you to the hundreds of volunteers who helped form and support this program to help curb COVID-19 in Austin.
What is contact tracing?
Contact tracing is a proven public health tool that is used to identify individuals who may have come into contact with an infected person. Trained staff interview people who have a confirmed lab diagnosis of COVID-19, to trace back who they may had recent contact with in the past 14+ days. Then, those people who may have been exposed, are contacted by phone, interviewed about their symptomatic status, provided testing recommendations, and encouraged to self-quarantine to prevent further spreading of the disease. Contact Tracing explained video.
How does contact tracing help slow the spread of a disease?
The primary goal of contact tracing is to interrupt the ongoing transmission of a disease and reduce the spread of infection. Those who have been exposed to COVID-19 are told to self-quarantine, and if they test positive, can be moved into UT Health Austin’s Home Monitoring Program where a team of physicians monitor the health and symptoms of those individuals daily. Contact tracing also helps epidemiologists learn more about a disease and its transmission in a particular population, which produces data that is used to track impact regionally, nationally, and globally.