Contact Tracing Across the United States
A few months ago, the phrase "contact tracing" was not a part of the public's everyday vocabulary. Now, in the midst of of our current pandemic, the phrase can be seen and heard everywhere. From television news broadcasts to posts on online forums, "contact tracing" is now widely known as an integral part in the fight against the spread of COVID-19.
At a high-level, the contact tracing process is very straightforward: identify and reach out to people who may have come into contact with an infected person in order to reduce infections. Despite this simplicity, there are a number of different approaches to contact tracing that can be adopted. These approaches fall under three categories: manual, semi-automated or automated. Manual contact tracing usually involves the use of human personnel to identify exposed individuals through interviews with infected individuals. Automated contact tracing can take on many different forms but generally relies on the use of either Bluetooth or location data to identify exposed individuals. Semi-automated contact tracing uses elements of both manual and automated contact tracing.
Every state within the United States has developed their own contact tracing program according to the pros and cons of each contact tracing category. To shed some light on the approach of each individual state, we've created an interactive map that illustrates whether or not a state has adopted a manual approach or a semi-automated/automated approach to contact tracing. For states that have either a semi-automated or automated contact tracing approach, the digital solution they have adopted is displayed.