SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. – Through a new partnership with the University of California Los Angeles and University of California San Francisco, Governor Gavin Newsom announced plans to train an army of contact tracers.
The governor said more than 3,000 employees per week will be trained to trace the spread of the coronavirus. Contact tracing is a method used to quickly isolate those who could be carrying COVID-19.
According to Governor Newsom, the two universities are providing a virtual academy that will consist of 12 hours of online training and eight hours of in-person training. Currently, only 23 counties in California are actively tracing COVID-19 patients.
Newsom has said that one of the essential steps for California’s economy to reopen is for the state to have a robust team of contract tracers, often referred to as disease detectives. Lucia Abascal is one of those disease detectives in San Francisco, where contact tracing has been underway since early April.
“Contact tracing has been going on for about a month in San Francisco. It’s one of the strategies that will help open up the city and the economy in the coming months,” said Abascal, a PhD student at UCSF.
When she is not taking virtual classed for her PhD, Abascal spends a lot of her time tracking down people who may have been infected by someone that tested positive for the coronavirus.