Contact tracing and the fight against COVID-19

Listen 49:00
Philadelphia's Schuylkill River Trail

Signs posted along Philadelphia's Schuylkill River Trail caution users to keep six feet away from others to prevent the spread of COVID-19. (Emma Lee/WHYY)

Guests: Valerie Arkoosh, Emily Gurley

Pennsylvania’s Montgomery County has had some of the highest rates of COVID-19  infection and COVID-related deaths in the state, many in the county’s nursing home facilities. County-wide, there have been 5700 infections and, by some counts, over 600 deaths. Governor Wolf has designated Montgomery County a red zone in his phased reopening plan with stay-at-home orders still in place. We start off this hour talking with Montgomery County Commissioner and chair VALERIE ARKOOSH, who is also a physician, about the county’s efforts to combat the virus and the progress being made. Then, we’ll look at contact tracing, which needs to be deployed if states hope to reopen safely. Johns Hopkins research scientist EMILY GURLEY is leading a free online class to train contact tracers. We’ll talk with Gurley about how contact tracing works and some of the challenges.

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