California’s Contact Tracing Program Launched

Illustration courtesy of CDPH

On Friday, Governor Gavin Newsom launched California Connected, the state’s contact tracing program and public awareness campaign. As part of California Connected, public health workers will connect with individuals who test positive for COVID-19 and work with them, and people they have been in close contact with, to ensure they have access to confidential testing, as well as medical care and other services to help prevent the spread of the virus. 

The state’s program is led by the administration in collaboration with the California Department of Public Health, local public health departments and the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) and Los Angeles (UCLA), which have launched an online training academy to develop a contact tracing workforce.

“We are all eager to get back to work and play, and that’s why we’re asking Californians to answer the call when they see their local public health department reaching out by phone, email or text,” said Newsom. “That simple action of answering the call could save lives and help keep our families and communities healthy.”

Information provided to local public health departments is confidential under California law. Public health authorities will not share that information with outside entities. That information will be used for public health purposes only. Contact tracers will not ask for financial information, social security numbers or immigration status.

“A key step in stopping the spread of COVID-19 is quickly identifying and limiting new cases, across the diversity of our populations — and that’s exactly what this statewide program does,” said California Department of Public Health Director and State Health Officer Dr. Sonia Angell.

Public health workers across the state — identified on caller ID as the “CA COVID Team” — will call, text and email individuals who test positive for COVID-19 and people they may have unknowingly exposed to the virus.

The state plans to launch 10,000 contact tracers statewide as part of its plan to reopen California. More than 500 individuals have been trained under the new contact tracing program, and more than 300 were trained last week. 

For more information, visit CaliforniaConnected.ca.gov

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