Contact Tracing
19 Feb 2021
Stephanie Casimiro

The Importance of Contact Tracing – Now and in the Future

Contact tracing is an essential tool in reducing the spread of infectious diseases, so much so, it has been utilized for decades. Although many people may not have heard of contact tracing until the COVID-19 pandemic began, it is a process that can be used at any time to prevent infected individuals from unknowingly spreading a contagion to others.

According to the Mayo Clinic, to effectively conduct contact tracing, communities need clinics, labs or hospitals to send the names of people infected with the Coronavirus to their local health department, which in turn inquires with whom those people have recently been in close contact.

The health department then promptly notifies those contacts that they may have been exposed to a contagious disease while keeping the person who may have exposed them anonymous. Those contacted will then be asked to follow several safety protocols, such as getting tested for COVID-19, quarantining for a specific number of days, maintaining social distancing, watching for symptoms, monitoring their temperature at least twice a day and reporting any noticed symptoms immediately.

Unfortunately, with 27 million cases of COVID-19 in the US and more than 458,000 dead (as of February 2021), some health departments have become overwhelmed and are unable to keep up with contact tracing efforts. Many have had to hire teams of contact tracers or hire private companies to trace contacts for them. Others have been considering using contact tracing apps, although such apps have not yet gained widespread acceptance in the US due to privacy concerns and questions regarding their effectiveness. Further, according to a recent Pew survey, 40% of Americans are even unlikely to talk to a human contact tracer, much less utilize an app.

Still, contact tracing can save lives. It has proven to be a necessary part of a multi-pronged approach to mitigate disease spread – whether it be COVID-19, Ebola, MRSA, or the next variant. For this reason, private businesses may want to consider taking on their contact tracing efforts as a way to protect their employees, customers, or guests beyond implementing standard best practices.

DeCurtis Shield™ is a standalone kiosk that uses thermal imaging to assess users’ temperature at any secure entry point. By placing kiosks throughout a complex indoor environment (such as an office building, hotel resort, or cruise ship), health is continually monitored, allowing for quick actions to be taken to lessen the spread of illness. When paired with DeCurtis’s location and proximity tracking, businesses can know when someone registers a fever and determine where they have been and with whom they have been in contact. This allows management to address and control potential outbreaks quickly.

DeCurtis’s health monitoring technology is quick and easy to implement, reduces staff risk, and easily reassures customers or guests (especially those at high risk) that a business is looking out for their health and well-being.

While vaccination efforts offer a light at the end of the tunnel for the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s unlikely that this will be our last health crisis, especially since new COVID variants seem to be emerging every day. Consider implementing DeCurtis Shield™ and location and proximity tracking to mitigate risk, protect staff and customers, and show that your company cares. Visit our website or contact us to learn more.

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