The Nearly Impossible Task Of Contact Tracing : Consider This from NPR One in every thousand people has died of COVID-19 in the U.S. And California just passed 2 million confirmed coronavirus cases. This surge, likely from Thanksgiving travel, is making contact tracing efforts difficult across the country.

Dr. Christina Ghaly, Director of the Los Angeles County Department of Health Services, says hospitals are being forced to treat COVID-19 patients in conference rooms and gift shops as beds fill up.

To help contain the spread, Brett Dahlberg reports that some health officials in Michigan are asking people to do their own contact tracing.

In New York City, WNYC's Fred Mogul found a contact tracer who is making home visits in an effort to alert people in at-risk categories.


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Contact Tracers Struggle to Keep Up As Coronavirus Cases Surge From Holiday Travel

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Contact Tracers Struggle to Keep Up As Coronavirus Cases Surge From Holiday Travel

Contact Tracers Struggle to Keep Up As Coronavirus Cases Surge From Holiday Travel

Contact Tracers Struggle to Keep Up As Coronavirus Cases Surge From Holiday Travel

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  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/950810780/951246458" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Eileen Carroll, left, sits for a portrait as her daughter, Lily, 11, attends school remotely from their home in Warwick, R.I, Wednesday, Dec. 16, 2020. When Carroll's other daughter tested positive for the coronavirus, state health officials told her to notify anyone her daughter might have been around. David Goldman/AP hide caption

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David Goldman/AP

Eileen Carroll, left, sits for a portrait as her daughter, Lily, 11, attends school remotely from their home in Warwick, R.I, Wednesday, Dec. 16, 2020. When Carroll's other daughter tested positive for the coronavirus, state health officials told her to notify anyone her daughter might have been around.

David Goldman/AP

One in every thousand people has died of COVID-19 in the U.S. and California just passed 2 million confirmed coronavirus cases. This surge, likely from Thanksgiving travel, is making contact tracing efforts difficult across the country.

Dr. Christina Ghaly, Director of the Los Angeles County Department of Health Services, says hospitals are being forced to treat COVID-19 patients in conference rooms and gift shops as beds fill up.

To help contain the spread, Brett Dahlberg reports that some health officials in Michigan are asking people to do their own contact tracing.

In New York City, WNYC's Fred Mogul found a contact tracer who is making home visits in an effort to alert people in at-risk categories.

This episode's reporting from New York and Michigan was done in partnership with Kaiser Health News.

In participating regions, you'll also hear a local news segment that will help you make sense of what's going on in your community.

Email us at considerthis@npr.org.

This episode was produced by Lee Hale and Brianna Scott. It was edited by Sami Yenigun with help from Gisele Grayson. Our executive producer is Cara Tallo.