Contact tracing is a key component of limiting the spread of COVID-19 and safely reopening the economy and society. States and localities across the country are in various stages of planning for and implementing contact tracing activities so they can isolate sick individuals and identify new infections. Although contact tracing is part of routine public health surveillance, the urgency and scale of these efforts are placing extraordinary demands on the capacity of health departments and the local governments that house them. The strategies below are derived from survey research, which shares some important features with contact tracing. Decision makers can use these strategies to encourage participation in and cooperation with contact tracing efforts.
This guidance comes from a rapid expert consultation developed by the Societal Experts Action Network (SEAN), an activity of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine that is sponsored by the National Science Foundation. SEAN links researchers in the social, behavioral, and economic sciences with decision makers to respond to policy questions arising from the COVID-19 pandemic. This project is affiliated with the National Academies’ Standing Committee on Emerging Infectious Diseases and 21st Century Health Threats. For more information about SEAN, visit nationalacademies.org/SEAN.
The Societal Experts Action Network (SEAN) links decision makers with social, behavioral, and economic science researchers who can provide evidence-based expert guidance that supports local, state, and federal policies and responses related to COVID-19. The network, an activity of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine that is sponsored by the National Science Foundation, responds to the most pressing questions and provides rapid, actionable responses. To learn more about SEAN, visit nationalacademies.org/SEAN.
The network appreciates any and all feedback on its work. Please send comments to SEAN@nas.edu, or fill out the feedback form on the right.