Chatham, New York
Body/Soul | Hard news | Politics/Government
4 June 2020 08:37AM


TROY – Contact tracing isn’t a new development springing from the coronavirus pandemic. It’s been a weapon in the public health arsenal for decades to fight infectious diseases like tuberculosis, hepatitis A and sexually transmitted diseases.

A ringing phone signaling a call from the county or state health departments may be heard in more homes as tracers seek to track down who may have come into contact with a person infected with COVID-19.

The Rensselaer County Health Department tracked 80 to 90 communicable diseases before the arrival of COVID-19, said Mary Fran Wachunas, who leads the agency. The difference between contact tracing before COVID-19 and now is the volume of cases being handled, which is compounded because there currently is no vaccine against the novel coronavirus, Wachunas said.

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