Contra Costa County Asking For Contact Tracing Volunteers

May 13, 2020 19:00 pm · 40 comments

Contra Costa County health officials are seeking volunteers to be “contact tracers” to research the connections between people who have tested positive for the COVID-19 coronavirus and others who may have potentially been infected.

Establishing such contacts will not only help identify people who need to be tested, isolated or treated, but also to help inform Contra Costa County’s long-term strategy to provide COVID-19-related care.

Dr. Chris Farnitano, Contra Costa County’s health officer, told the county Board of Supervisors Tuesday morning that the ultimate goal is more testing.

“We’re sort of flying blind if we don’t have enough testing,” Farnitano said.

The testing goal, Anna Roth told the supervisors Tuesday, is 2,200 tests a day.

“We think that’s a realistic goal,” said Roth, the county’s director of public health services.

In addition to county employees being asked to shift their duties in this pandemic emergency, Roth said the county seeks volunteers from the general public to do tracing work. Prospective volunteers can email COVID19volunteers@cchealth.org, Roth said.

Many Bay Area counties are accelerating efforts to build teams to do the detective-type work of determining who positive-testing patients have had contact with. Finding those people and testing them, Farnitano said, will be key in reopening county government, the business community and leisure activities, even gradually.

Contra Costa County Administrator David Twa told supervisors Tuesday the county has so far spent $135 million on COVID-19 care, testing, prevention, employee work changes (including setup for working at home), employee overtime and other various expenses.

The county hopes to recover much of that expenditure from the federal government, Twa said, as part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act.

Led May 13, 2020 at 7:45 PM

Great, but why wasn’t this being done a month ago, since the plan has involved scaling up contact tracing since the early days of the lockdown? We knew we would need this. Now we’re close to having enough testing and just starting to build the staff to do tracing? Obviously I’m just a regular citizen looking in from the outside, but the timing makes no sense to me. It is a big flippin deal to have the whole population stuck at home and vast amounts of economic activity suspended. It’s bad now and we’ll be paying for it for years to come, in all sorts of ways. I believe it was a reasonable decision at the time, but we need some *urgency* in getting to the next phase. It’s outrageous that we are waiting around so long to meet the logistical benchmarks. Our case numbers are small and not growing. Hospitals have capacity. We finally are getting there on testing. Those are the harder parts! We can’t take forever on the easy stuff!

Sam May 13, 2020 at 9:41 PM

ALL EYES ON GEORGIA AND FLORIDA REMEMBER. That is your guide to understanding how the virus is spreading. All numbers are falling quickly after opening up. How did that happen? But you guys want to continue running with this conspiracy theory about it being highly contagious and we should stay locked in our homes. What type of koolaid is that? Failure to use critical thinking Is what got you here to begin with. Try something different

Sam May 13, 2020 at 8:07 PM

Better just shut it down now if they are hoping for the feds to pay for it.

chuckie the troll May 13, 2020 at 8:25 PM

I don’t have enough Middle-Fingers to say no loud enough…to being a tracer or being traced!

Schmee May 13, 2020 at 8:45 PM

So the government wants us to work for free and risk our health with no pay? Haha nice try. They are paying millions and millions of healthcare workers to be moved around the state and stay in hotels and they can’t even offer a Visa gift card or a free lunch?

Alan May 13, 2020 at 8:51 PM

Excuse me, Herr Farnitano, but we’re flying just as blind WITH testing! PCR tests in disease diagnosis are notoriously unreliable, to the point where if every citizen of the United States were tested for Covid-19, there would be more false positives than there would be people who actually have the disease! Far more. You know this Reich Minister Farnitano, unless you’re either stupid or devious.

If this supposed doctor wants to keep on with the ruination of our community, he should, if he is honorable, forfeit his pay while he’s forcing thousands of families to forfeit their income during his reign as Commisar of Family Destruction.

Volunteer to help my community suffer and implode? Get out of here, you jackass. When enough people wake up from this epidemic of fear, they’ll be coming for Farnitano, and Fauci too, with pitchforks and torches.

LIBERTY 1st - SAFETY 2nd May 14, 2020 at 3:14 AM

You nailed it Alan! Watch for organized demonstrations targeting Dr. Farnitano, the Board of Supes, and the spineless City Councils. We’ve been duped long enough! Nothing short of 100% reopening of CoCo County will be acceptable. Our politicians and municipal bureaucrats have proved once again to be grossly inept.

ZZ May 13, 2020 at 8:53 PM

I’ve been paying everything in cash and leaving my cell phone at home….

Sam May 13, 2020 at 9:10 PM

I just found a service for my old pager.. and always cash..hello nineties. Now if we only had pay phones

Aunt Barbara May 13, 2020 at 8:59 PM

In reality…. Teach people how to stay healthy, many people have no clue.
better hygiene and avoidance of sharing joints and cups and shaking hannies with all your besties
Think the return of school after the summer, when all the parents let their rugrats loose and your child is exposed to all the kids of deadbeat parents.
The worst offenses are restaurant managers (like Tomatina) that shake your hand before you dive into your plate… faux pas

Protect the 4th Amendment May 13, 2020 at 8:59 PM

Contact your Rep to vote down House Bill 6666 (can’t make this sh** up!)

They want to use ex-military to enforce quarantine, family separations, involuntary testing, etc. If they deem it necessary to take you to a hospital you will be separated from your families who will not be permitted to visit. Read more about it here:
https://www.greenmedinfo.com/blog/notice-non-consent-say-no-big-brother-bill-hr-6666-and-preserve-your-rights

chuckie the troll May 14, 2020 at 9:36 AM

The public at-large will never know what is in the Bill because there is no way the Senate will pass it. However, people should be aware of just how dangerous this bill AND the thinking behind it is. Remember all of the opposition to the Echelon Spy Program years ago…opposed by Right and Left alike? Why does the Left suddenly want to embrace a domestic spy program that puts Skynet to shame?

Well??!! May 13, 2020 at 9:29 PM

Call them, email them, Hell bang on their front doors….anything! CCHD as well as your CC Supervisors. Posting here is all well and good, but they need to hear our voices. Farnitano is a hack, and they need to know! This all needs to end…..now! Remember, behind every shuttered business is a human being suffering. ENOUGH!

Chuckie’s Wife May 13, 2020 at 9:37 PM

Here come the block wardens…

Anonymous May 13, 2020 at 9:37 PM

With the entire county shut down there must be hundreds of county employees with nothing to do. If they aren’t furloughed, have them do it.

chuckie the troll May 13, 2020 at 9:48 PM

Elon Musk is right! This state is beyond redemption, and apparently a majority of legal? residents are happy with that. Well, I’ll wave goodbye as my car crosses the border with my middle finger in plain sight.

Original G May 13, 2020 at 10:58 PM

Wow after watching all those detective shows produced in last 50 years played on TV, for days at a time, there have to be volunteers out there ready to go and interrogate.
What could possibly go wrong ? ? ?

Bella May 13, 2020 at 11:43 PM

I, for one like the idea. Have led teams, but before that a researcher innately and proven. So, if I decide this is my direction, it is for all.

Alan May 14, 2020 at 12:07 AM

Read Bella’s three sentences carefully, and you have an accurate picture of the ideal candidate for a government testing and tracing program.

Calling Commisar Farnitano! You have your first volunteer! You two will work perfectly together. With you two leading the way, how can we lose?

(Please, PLEASE tell me Bella was making a joke.)

Led May 14, 2020 at 12:07 AM

I don’t think any of the commenters above know what “contact tracing” means. Though to be fair our politicians and public health people have done a crap job of communicating their actual goals and strategies, once we got beyond “flatten the curve”.

Anyway, contact tracing in it’s basic form just means you interview the people who test positive and find out who they were in close contact with, then contact those people and letting them know they may have been exposed, giving them the option to get tested and encouraging them to self-isolate until they get a negative result or go some amount of time without symptoms.

Here’s the thing: if that sounds invasive, I get it, but it is *targeted* unlike what we have now, where everyone is treated as if they are infectious even though a miniscule percentage of the county population has it. If you want lockdowns and restrictions on gathering to go away and stay away, you should be a big fan of contact tracing. It’s the only thing that will get things back to near-normal in a stable fashion until there is, hopefully, a vaccine.

Sam May 14, 2020 at 7:45 AM

“if you want lockdowns and restrictions to go away, you should be a big fan of contact tracing.” THAT IS THE DEFINITION OF EXTORTION. Not interested in trading liberty for false security…sorry led don’t work that way

Dan May 14, 2020 at 9:15 AM

You know that contact tracing has been going on for over 50 years and was instrumental in eradicating small pox. It is still used today for infections like TB and STIs, Why are you complaining about it now? Did you just learn what it was?

Chuckie’s Wife May 14, 2020 at 9:17 AM

Read HR 6666 (can’t make this up – Mark of the Beast = 666) Kinda freaky and I’m not into conspiracies. There’s nothing in the bill to prevent forced action:

https://www.congress.gov/bill/116th-congress/house-bill/6666/text?r=2&s=1

Therefore, we SHOULD all be concerned about so-called contact tracing. If there are no guarantees that participation in testing is voluntary, that no contact tracer can force you to do anything to participate, that you do not have to consent to anything and cannot be forced under threat of punishment, then no, thank you.

Anon May 14, 2020 at 10:49 AM

HR 6666, yes they are making it all too easy for even the fence walkers. Chose your side & I’m not even talking about being religious………but why would You go along with their dystopian plans???

Sam May 14, 2020 at 11:15 AM

I just want to go to some baseball games. Maybe a 49er game or 2. Everything is being overdone. Not interested in hypochondriacs running day to day life for those that are not mentally ill.

anonamel May 14, 2020 at 12:37 AM

Even if I got sick I would refuse testing at this point… I certainly wouldn’t open the door to some neighborhood canvasser knocking on doors of people they think maybe possibly had contact with someone who was infected. As a parent, the next step to that kind of abuse of power is to take my kids away from me if I didn’t comply. Probably wouldn’t go that far, but HR 6666 has nothing in it that would prohibit that kind of overreach.

dan May 14, 2020 at 9:23 AM

@anonamel – huh? Why are you so afraid of this? When in the last hundred years did the government take people’s kids away? Your statements are uneducated fear mongering.

BORbeliever May 14, 2020 at 12:50 AM

What happened to the app that was being developed by Google and Apple? Not that I would install it, but wasn’t that being touted as the best way to implement contact tracing?

Sam May 14, 2020 at 7:47 AM

Constitutional problems

Strad May 14, 2020 at 6:50 AM

I was thinking that with all the testing this would be a great way for the government to get your DNA. Hope I’m wrong and they are not collecting it.

Mongoose May 14, 2020 at 7:03 AM

Beginning to look like Germany in 1933. They can do the Census while pestering us about somebody who might have exposed us. Or maybe we were asymptomatic and exposed them…who knows. It is way too late ( typical ) to piss away tax money on this.

parent May 14, 2020 at 7:07 AM

Um … NO. Come to my door, it will shut on you.

Sam May 14, 2020 at 7:51 AM

They overplayed their hand. California turning red to preserve freedom

Sam Malone May 14, 2020 at 8:01 AM

No way should we be doing this for free and exposing ourselves. The city, state and government have so much money that they waste every single day on the entitlement crowd, law breakers, libbies, and illegals. Cut off those funds and pay people who need work and are citizens, with no criminal history to do this job.

Plus my DNA is not for free.

Lizzee May 14, 2020 at 9:03 AM

Why isn’t this a paid position? When unemployment rates are so high and food bank lines are at record levels, it’s criminal for any government not to pay these people when they’re performing a vital service.

chuckie the troll May 14, 2020 at 9:42 AM

National Socialist Block Warden training coming to a location near you! How did we get this far so fast, where civil rights and freedom are handed over to Big Brother without a fight?

As I told my son last year before Xi coronavirus was even a thing, “I’m old, so what you do with/to the U.S. Constitution is out of my hands now. But be careful, because some things can’t be repaired once they are broken. And when was the last time government ever gave you back a right/freedom you had surrendered?”

PublicHealthWorks May 14, 2020 at 11:46 AM

Let me add:

Contact Tracing will be done remotely from home….like many other states. No one is going door to door. So no risk to workers or volunteers. Follow the link..there are paid and unpaid positions available.

CCC has been involved in contact tracing for well over 50 years. If you come down with Syphilis, HIV, or another serious communicable disease then the public health department has an existing program that gets a list of partners, calls to let them know they have been exposed and encourages them to get tested. I think most people would want to know this information, right? If the case of COVID, minimally…. so you could avoid Grandma’s house and your diabetic Aunt’s house for a couple weeks?

The real problem is….no one answers their phones these days. It’s going to be a nightmare finding people in the 2 days before they have symptoms when they are the most infectious.

PublicHealthWorks2 May 14, 2020 at 11:56 AM

It is also going to be a nightmare bc these regular people who are trying to help the community–likely your friends and neighbors– aka the “contact tracers” will surely be met with cruel and bitter criticism from people who think this is all a ploy to steal their Constitutional Rights.

How about we all just give it a chance to work and check back in later before adding to the panic.

Cellophane May 14, 2020 at 3:50 PM

I like to do volunteer work.

I wouldn’t volunteer for this on a bet.

I see more problems than possible results.

Farnitano doesn’t have the skills of a well-trained janitor.

CM May 14, 2020 at 7:45 PM

Step 1 toward a communist county. No thanks

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