Digital contact tracing’s mixed record abroad spells trouble for US efforts to rein in COVID-19

Two public health measures – testing, to identify those infected, and contact tracing, to identify those who may have encountered an infected person – have become essential as countries around the world reopen their economies and fresh surges of COVID-19 infections appear.

Even as testing ramps up, contact tracing with a wide enough net remains a daunting task. Contact tracing involves public health staff conducting interviews with infected people. Public health experts are calling for 180,000 more contact tracers, but progress on contact tracing has not been going well, according to Dr. Anthony Fauci, the head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.