California Promotes New Covid-19 Tracing Program

By:  |  Category: Security Friday, May 22nd, 2020  |  No Comments

If it sounds a little scary, that’s because it is.

On Friday, California launched its first coronavirus contact tracing program. California Governor Gavin Newsom will commence a public awareness campaign to get people to join in. The program is called California Connected, and works by having public health workers reach out to people who test positive for COVID-19 with access to free confidential testing and medical advice. They’ll also offer testing to people who have been in close contact with those who tested positive.

Texts and calls will come in on phones under the caller ID “CA COVID Team,” as will emails. They will ask for your name, age, places you’ve been and people you’ve been in contact with, but will never ask for financial information, Social Security numbers or immigration status.

It should help stop the spread of the coronavirus by identifying and isolating new cases. It also raises some privacy issues.

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

The media blitz begins today as billboards, radio ads, social media posts and video ads launch so Californians are aware of the program. 

Over time, there will be 10,000 contact tracers across the state, but currently 500 public health care workers have been trained under the program.

This isn’t the first time this type of program has been in play. Contact tracing programs have previously been used in California for polio, tuberculosis, measles, HIV/AIDS and other infectious diseases.

It’s distinct from the contact tracing program being developed with Apple and Google, which will use your phone’s Bluetooth and mapping technology to track where you go and who you are near.

The purpose of both programs is to keep people who have been exposed to a positive case isolated so they don’t transmit the disease to others.

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Source: gov.ca.gov

Image Source: https://www.pexels.com/photo/woman-having-a-video-call-4031818/

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