Ever since the global Covid-19 outbreak contact tracing has been a “core health response” to the pandemic. According to the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control, a “close contact” refers to everyone who was in a closed environment with a confirmed case for more than 15 minutes, including physical contact and face-to-face contact within two meters.
Covid-19 contact tracing is a “complicated and time-consuming” process identifying all contacts over a two-week period of a confirmed case, reports the WHO. Due to the possible transmission of the virus without the occurrence of symptoms, contact tracing can be particularly difficult.
“Contact tracing is crucial in order to rapidly identify cases and their contacts and prevent resurgence,”says Dr Stéphane Hugonnet, Medical Doctor and Epidemiologist, Unit Head, WHO Health Emergency Programme.
According to The Robert Koch Institute, Germany’s public health institute, contact tracing aims to detect cases and immediately isolate close contacts in order to break infection chains and prevent further infections. The RKI further states that the identification and observation of close contacts is the duty of the responsible health department.
Concerning this topic, I have interviewed Alicia Hoepfl who has been working in a Covid-19 contact tracing centre in Baden-Wuerttemberg, Germany since October 2020. In this podcast we discuss how her work and personal circumstances have changed the way we look at the pandemic. Alicia provides first-hand information on how contact tracing works and what her job at the contact tracing centre is. Furthermore, she addresses people’s different behaviours and beliefs regarding restrictions and the transmission of the virus.
Click below to listen to the whole podcast.
Music credit: Bensound.com