36: Contact Tracing at Scale
Flattening the curve. Testing and contact tracing. Social distancing. Not only have these practices become part of our daily routines, but they are also the primary tools of the public health emergency response to COVID-19. In this episode, we meet Kathleen Blaney, MPH, RN, Director of Disease Control Emergency Preparedness at the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. Kathleen recounts the story of building the NYC Test & Trace Corps, a public health initiative to fight the threat of COVID-19 and one of the largest contact tracing endeavors in modern history, which in a matter of weeks trained and onboarded over 3,000 new contact tracers—remotely. She shares how the highly personal nature of contact tracing can strengthen science literacy and vaccine confidence, reduce health disparities, and even help build trust in both public institutions and each other amid the pandemic and beyond.
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