Contact tracing is a core disease control measure, which has been employed by local and state health department personnel for decades, and is a key strategy for preventing further spread of COVID-19, according to the CDC.
In contact tracing, public health staff work with a patient to help them recall everyone with whom they have had close contact during the timeframe while they may have been infectious. Public health staff then warn these exposed individuals (contacts) of their potential exposure as rapidly and sensitively as possible. To protect patient privacy, contacts are only informed that they may have been exposed to a patient with the infection. They are not told the identity of the patient who may have exposed them.
Contacts are provided with education, information, and support to understand their risk, what they should do to separate themselves from others who are not exposed, monitor themselves for illness, and the possibility that they could spread the infection to others even if they themselves do not feel ill. Contacts are encouraged to stay home and maintain social distance from others (at least 6 feet) until 14 days after their last exposure.
H.R.6666 (COVID-19 Testing, Reaching, And Contacting Everyone ((TRACE)) Act) is a bill proposed in the United States House of Representatives to provide federal grants for contact tracing efforts. H.R. 6666 does not include any provisions for the forceable removal of people from their homes. If you have questions about H.R. 6666, please reach out to your elected officials in the U.S. House of Representatives.