This Pima Co. memo says the health dept is struggling to reach COVID-19 cases & close contacts.

By my estimate only 11% of close contacts were traced.

This has to improve!

What can the community do?
What can the health dept do?

@pchd 1/12…
11% is a long way from what we need to prevent a second wave, but even small improvements can have big benefits. There’s more to contact tracing than epidemic suppression. 2/12
Contact tracing finds people who are getting other people sick and helps them stop.

If you stop people from getting sick, you prevent suffering. Stop enough people from getting sick and deaths are prevented. Preventing suffering and death is a good goal all on its own. 3/12
The contact tracing situation is also holding back reopening. Contact tracing is the only Pima Co. Health Dept. benchmark still stuck in the red. 4/12
According to the memo to the Pima Supervisors, contact tracers were only able to reach 1,002 out of 2,392 (42%) of cases. 5/12…
When contact tracers did manage to interview someone, they had trouble reaching that person's contacts.

Only 593 out of 1,778 (33%) of contacts were interviewed. 6/12
Here's how I estimated only 11% of contacts were reached.

Memo says interviewed cases had an avg of 2.2 close contacts.

Total cases (2,392) * 2.2 = 5,262 estimated close contacts

Tracers only reached 593 close contacts, so 593/5,262 = 11%

How does Pima county contact tracing work right now?

The linked May 26 memo to the Pima Supervisors describes the process in detail. 8/12…
To simplify the process described in the memo, investigators call people who have tested positive and interview them. If nobody answers, they leave a voicemail.

If close contacts are identified, contact tracers call them, and leave a message if the person doesn't answer. 9/12
The memo describes a thorough contact tracing protocol, but it can't work if tracers can't contact people!

We need to improve this situation.

What can the community do?

What can Pima County Health Department do?

Let me know what you think. 10/12
My idea for improving the efficacy of contact tracing is weekly reporting of contact tracing statistics.

Weekly reporting of contact tracing statistics would raise awareness of contact tracing, which may result in more people answering contact tracing calls. 11/12
Here are the proposed metrics for contact tracing from the May 26 memo. I think these should be in the media every week to keep people thinking and talking about contact tracing. 12/12

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