US will need up to 100,000 contact tracers by September, CDC says

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The U.S. needs to significantly increase its number of coronavirus contact tracers, as there will be a need for up to 100,000 of them by September, CDC Director Robert Redfield, MD, told House members June 4, according to The New York Times.

At a health subcommittee hearing, Dr. Redfield said there are about 600 CDC workers nationwide interviewing people infected with the new coronavirus to find out who they may have come into contact with and identifying potential new cases. States have hired their own contact tracers, some more than 1,000. But the country will need more.

"It is fundamental that we have a fully operational contact-tracing workforce that can — every single case, every single cluster — can do comprehensive contact-tracing within 24 to 36 hours, 48 hours at the latest, get it completed, get it isolated, so that we can stay in containment mode as we get into the fall and winter," Dr. Redfield said in the Times report.

The number of contact tracers each state will need will vary, he said, and the CDC is helping states determine the workforce they will need.

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