What is it about?

One of the earliest measures taken to help stop the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic was case investigation and contact tracing (CICT). CICT is an important public health activity conducted by local health departments. CICT involves identifying all of the people with whom an infected person has come into contact before and after they were infected. CICT was carried out across many different countries when the pandemic first began. But how effective is CICT? The authors of this paper looked at 14 health departments in the United States and aimed to discover how many COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations were prevented by CICT. They saw that CICT helped reduce the spread of disease between 0.4% and 32%. They also saw that isolating cases even one day quicker resulted in a 15% increase in CICT effectiveness.

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Why is it important?

CICT is an important measure to limit the spread of infections like COVID-19. But there is a lot of difference in how local health departments perform CICT. This affects how effective they are. Many people are also not convinced that CICT programs are useful. This makes it harder for health departments to do their jobs. This study highlights the advantages of CICT programs. It also identifies ways to make CICT programs more effective. This will help reduce the spread of COVID-19 as well as prepare us for future pandemics. KEY TAKEAWAY: CICT programs are important tools to stop the spread of infections. This study shows us the benefits of CICT programs. It also provides policymakers with ideas on how to make such programs more effective.

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This page is a summary of: Estimates of Cases and Hospitalizations Averted by COVID-19 Case Investigation and Contact Tracing in 14 Health Jurisdictions in the United States, Journal of Public Health Management and Practice, September 2021, Wolters Kluwer Health, DOI: 10.1097/phh.0000000000001420.
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