...what it's like to be a contact tracer? (with Kenneth Phillips)
Play • 29 min

Nearly half of all Californians have received at least one vaccine dose. But remember before we had COVID vaccines available? We relied solely on other tools, like physical distancing, and wearing face masks, to slow the spread of the disease. Another important tool we’ve used that you might be less familiar with is contact tracing. This is when public health workers call people who test positive or who have been exposed to COVID-19 and ask them to isolate to stop the spread.

On paper, this sounds straight forward. But in practice, it’s a lot messier. Getting a phone call from a stranger that you might have COVID can be really scary. And being the person who makes that phone call can be stressful, too.

Do you ever wonder what it’s like to be a contact tracer?

Early in the pandemic, many state employees were recruited to be contact tracers. This included our very own curator Kenneth Phillips, who has spent most of the pandemic as a contact tracing supervisor at the LA County Department of Public Health. He joined us on this episode to tell us what it’s been like for him and his team for the past year.

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