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  • The Next Step to Opening Up, Contact Tracing, Is Already Underway in O.C.

    By  | iwheeler@scng.com | Orange County Register

    PUBLISHED:  | UPDATED: 

    A team of 75 health detectives make calls to people who've been near people who tested positive. In this pandemic, it's a potentially heavy lift.

    Once somebody in Orange County tests positive for the coronavirus that causes COVID-19, two things happen.

    First, depending on how the person feels, he or she is told to seek medical help or go into self-quarantine at home.

    Second, behind the scenes, each positive test triggers the start of so-called “contact tracing,” a decades-old practice that health experts have used to reduce the spread of communicable diseases as varied as smallpox, the flu and HIV.

    Such tracing already is happening in Orange County to slow the spread of coronavirus. And its expansion is considered by health experts to be one key — along with expanded testing — to ending stay-at-home rules and rebooting the economy.  Read More