June 5, 2020
Statement by Texas Public Health Coalition Chair Jason V. Terk, MD, in response to recent questions about the State of Texas’ COVID-19 contact tracing program.
"Contact tracing is an effective tool that local and state health departments have long used to control the spread of highly contagious illnesses like tuberculosis and pertussis. It works by notifying anyone who has been in contact with an infected person, advising them to get tested, and asking them not to do anything that could infect someone else. Protecting the privacy of people who are sick and those who may have been exposed has always been an inviolable principle and legal requirement of contact tracing programs.
"Gov. Greg Abbott’s plan to use contact tracing to ‘box in’ the coronavirus is fully aligned with scientific evidence and will support the rapid reopening of the Texas economy. The virus has not disappeared; it has and will continue to spring up in outbreaks across the state. The effective use of contact tracing and COVID-19 testing will allow Texas to contain hot spots quickly and prevent the disease from spreading further and faster. These well-established tools are the best prevention we have today to save the state from another drastic economic shutdown."
The Texas Public Health Coalition consists of more than 30 health professional organizations and health-focused organizations dedicated to disease prevention and health promotion.
Brent Annear (512) 370-1381; cell: (512) 656-7320
Marcus Cooper(512) 370-1382; cell: (512) 650-5336