Contact Tracing COVID-19: Exploring Legal and Social Challenges and Strategies for Improvement

By Muhammad Hamza Habib, MD, FACP, FAAHPM, MRCP (London), Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey, New Brunswick, NJ / Rutgers Law School, Newark, NJ and Briana Moller, JD, MPH, Law Foundation of Silicon Valley, San Jose, CA

Introduction

COVID-19 has been the biggest global pandemic to hit the world in almost a century. It has greatly affected global trade, the economy, education, and travel. More importantly, it has unraveled the healthcare systems across the world and caused almost 1.6 million deaths to date.2 Like any other contagious illness, isolation of clinically sick and asymptomatic carriers has shown to be the most effective method to contain the spread of the virus. One of the most important steps of this process is tracing back the close contacts of these sick patients and carriers. To do this effectively, public health officials need access to information about confirmed cases of COVID-19 and their recent contacts. 

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