Contact tracing has been used by most major cities, state and federal governments in the U.S. for almost 140 years.
It was used in Britain in the 1850s to identify the source of a cholera epidemic in 1854. It has been used here to track cholera, typhoid, bubonic plague, smallpox, measles and influenza among other diseases. Contact tracing has been used to track carriers of syphilis and gonorrhea since before 1900. It was used before and after WWI and WWII to track polio cases, giving doctors information to identify potential treatments and eventually a vaccine. It was used during the Ebola outbreak in a successful effort to keep that disease from breaking out as a world-wide pandemic.
Contact tracing is essential to limiting the spread of any deadly disease. This is not new. It works and enables medical heroes to minimize if not stop the spread of this pandemic.