Contact Tracing Simulation / Nicole Uzzo, M.S.

Contract tracers are ‘‘disease detectives” who are trained to detect likely secondary cases among close contacts of already identified cases. Contact tracing is crucial for disrupting transmission and flattening the curve. The role of a contact tracer is not necessarily a new position as contact tracers are used for other infectious diseases such as smallpox, measles, influenza, and sexually transmitted diseases. However, the circumstances presented by COVID has created the perfect storm where a once “behind the scenes” job needed tens of thousands new positions filled. Regions with strong contact-tracing programs and stringent social distancing regulations were able to reduce COVID spread as opposed to nations with more lax approaches. This suggests that decisive government responses, public trust, and effective contact tracing are important tools to combat a global pandemic. Questions explored by this workshop are: What is contact tracing? What challenges need to be considered? What lessons should be taken from COVID-19 in the event of a future global pandemic?

Workshop Leader: Nicole Uzzo, M.S.

Nicole earned her B.S. in Biological Sciences and Psychology from Fordham University and her Master of Science degree in Physiology from Loyola University. She currently works as a COVID19 contact tracer in New York.