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San Francisco launches contact tracing program to assist with pandemic

Bay Area

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. (KRON) — San Francisco Mayor London Breed officially announced Wednesday a program that the city hopes will help track and prevent the spread of COVID-19.

It’s called contact tracing, and the city of San Francisco hopes it will be a major step both in getting through shelter in place and jump-starting life afterwards.

“We can have people tested who may have been in contact with someone who has been infected,” Mayor Breed said. “Because our goal is to track down all of those people, and to either help them if they are COVID and get them into quarantine, or to basically give them the relief that they are not infected.”

The Department of Health is partnering with UCSF to get the program up and running. Fifty people have already been trained to work on contact tracing, with 150 expected to be ready in another two weeks.

“We are building a fast moving, comprehensive system to track cases and support people to prevent the system as much as possible,” Dr. Grant Colfax said.

That system will include confidential interviews, and an app with a symptom tracker.

Another part of the project is expanded testing for city employees, first responders, and members of the public who meet screening criteria.

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