COVID-19 Case Investigation and Contact Tracing: Considerations for Using Digital Technologies

B.Next and ASTHO

As communities relax stay-at-home orders and ramp up testing, the public health system is seeing increases in COVID-19 cases. Until vaccines are broadly available, the primary ways of preventing transmission of COVID-19 include interventions such as case investigation, contact tracing, social distancing, and isolation and quarantine. Case investigation and contact tracing are well-established public health functions that have been implemented for many diseases like Ebola, sexually transmitted infections, and tuberculosis. However, the scale and speed needed for COVID-19 is unprecedented.

Co-published by B.Next and the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials (ASTHO), this guide aims to help health officials think through critical functionalities needed for case investigations and contact tracing, technological options, and issues of implementation in adopting these technologies. It also addresses the latest topic of focus: the Apple/Google exposure notification application programming interface. The background and key considerations included are intended to inform decision-making for technology-enabled enhancement of case investigation and contact tracing capacity.

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