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Coronavirus contact tracing is 'not going well,' Dr. Fauci says, US still needs more testing

  1. Earlier this week, CDC Director Dr. Robert Redfield testified that about 27,000 or 28,000 people are doing contact tracing work across the country. He later acknowledged that he estimates the necessary workforce to be about 100,000 tracers. Former CDC Director Dr. Tom Frieden thinks the country will need even more, up to 300,000.
  2. Rather than developing a coordinated national tracing plan, which some countries, such as Germany, have done, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has sought instead to support local efforts. In lieu of federal leadership on tracing, underfunded and overwhelmed local health departments have scrambled to get the necessary systems in place.
  3. To ramp up testing more rapidly, the coronavirus task force, which Fauci is a member of, is now considering “pooling tests,” he said. That’s when health officials conduct up to 40 tests all at once and if it comes back negative, it indicates that everyone in the group is not infected.
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