SACRAMENTO (Up News Info SF) – California is launching a comprehensive contact-tracking program to help stop the spread of the coronavirus along with a public awareness campaign to educate Californians about the program, with an emphasis on underserved communities, announced Friday. Governor Gavin Newsom.
Called California Connected, the program is in collaboration with the state Department of Public Health, local health departments, and the University of California, San Francisco, and Los Angeles, which have launched contact search training academies.
California Connected will pair public health workers with people who test positive for COVID-19 to find people with whom they have been in close contact and ensure they have access to testing, medical care and other services.
Information provided to contact trackers and public health departments is confidential under California law and will not be shared with outside entities, according to authorities. Contact trackers will not request financial information, social security numbers, or immigration status.
"We are all eager to get back to work and play, and that is why we are asking Californians to answer the call when they see their local public health department communicating by phone, email, or text message," said the governor. Newsom in a prepared report. statement. "That simple act of answering the call could save lives and help keep our families and communities healthy."
Public health workers calling patients with COVID-19 would be identified on the caller ID as the "CA COVID Team." Communications would also be sent in the form of text messages and email messages to people with positive results and to others who have unknowingly exposed the virus.
"A key step in stopping the spread of COVID-19 is to quickly identify and limit new cases, through the diversity of our populations, and that is exactly what this state program does," said Dr. Sonia Angell, Director of the California Department of Public Health and State Health Officer in a statement. "We are bringing together the best minds in public health, academia and private industry to design a program that can help reduce the risk of COVID-19 in all of our communities and keep us on the path to reopening."
This week also kicked off a $ 5.1 million public awareness campaign for California Connected to help educate all Californians and underserved communities in particular. The funds come in part from private donations, including from philanthropist and former eBay president Jeff Skoll, Twitter, Facebook, The California Health Care Foundation and The California Endowment.
The awareness campaign will include radio and billboard ads, social media posts and videos in multiple languages.
The state has plans to launch 10,000 contact trackers statewide as part of its plan to reopen California. More than 500 people have been trained under the new contact tracking program, and more than 300 are being trained this week.