Contact Tracing

The Challenge of Contact Tracing in America

by Peggy Noonan,
from The Wall Street Journal,

Something is coming that is well-meant and seriously intended but carries the promise of trouble. It is the planned state-by-state coronavirus contact-tracing regime. It has all the potential to be an onerous system that provokes resentment, spurs anxiety, and invites pushback.

Most of the tracking will apparently be done by phone. But a lot is unclear, including enforcement powers and their limits. States and cities will create their own rules and processes. New York, California and Michigan seem to be taking the lead. This week New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced the hiring of 1,700 trackers, who begin work June 1.

But no one is so far really clear on how exactly the army will do its job, what it will be empowered to do, what legal sanctions if any will apply to those who don’t share names or go into quarantine. How will trackers know if people obey quarantine rules? Will law enforcement become involved?

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