Operational considerations for adapting a contact tracing program to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic
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Up-to-Date Info: To find the latest CDC information on this topic go to: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html

Operational considerations for adapting a contact tracing program to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic

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    • Description:
      Updated Oct. 23, 2020

      Who is the intended audience of this document?

      This document is for CDC country offices, ministries of health, sub-national public health authorities, and other implementing partners in non-US settings. While select adaptations may be relevant for any jurisdiction, the document focuses on adaptations that might be especially useful in low- and middle-income countries.

      Document Rationale

      Contact tracing is a key component of controlling transmission of infectious diseases. Contact tracing for the current COVID-19 pandemic however, is distinct from that undertaken for other diseases (e.g., Ebola, HIV, TB) because in nearly all countries the number of cases and contacts has outpaced the capacity of the public health system to quickly notify and quarantine all contacts and isolate all cases.

      As a result, contact tracing programs will need to prioritize activities to ensure that human and financial resources are utilized most effectively. Necessary adaptations will depend not only on setting, but also will need to adapt over time, to best suit the current epidemiology of the outbreak. Measures that are feasible when there is one case or even one cluster of cases, may not be feasible once hundreds or thousands of new cases are reported a day. The following document outlines considerations for modifying contact tracing protocols to maximize efficient use of limited resources.


      CS 319700-A 08/11/2020


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