Contact tracing is a method of controlling the spread of the COVID-19 viral strain, handled by healthcare professionals and local health departments via a database system of documented case entries for retrieval in alerting close contacts. Health experts treat close contacts as individuals having been in proximity (i.e., six feet) to a COVID-19 case within two days, putting them in a category of having a higher likelihood of contracting coronavirus.
The benefits of contact tracing stem from its ability to help limit mass exposure to the coronavirus as local health department officials synergistically coordinate with healthcare institutions (i.e. hospitals and laboratories) to manage the statistics. Hence, while the COVID-19 infection rate is variable to the extent that individuals can manifest symptoms or present asymptomatic conditions, the medical community premises that recent exposure, and subsequent contacts, are catalysts for distributing the coronavirus. As a result, local health department officials engage in contact tracing measures by drawing on evidence from reported cases alongside contact sources to compare and interpret fluctuating patterns across designated regions.
It is vital to consult a physician for testing since the coronavirus affects individuals differently, often reflected from the point of exposure and the development of latent symptoms/asymptomatic scenarios with contact tracing working to deter a further outbreak. The incubation period highlights the transition from infection to the onset of symptoms, spurring contact tracers to relay exposure to contacts bolstered by potential self-isolation/self-quarantine practices covering a 10-14-day period. Ongoing research and experimentation of contact tracing applications are a mainstay in computing feedback from infected parties and tracking and notifying close contacts, preserving anonymity and confidentiality regulations pending negative/positive test results.