Contact Tracing and Isolation Capacity


Contact tracing is a strategy used for decades by health departments to prevent further spread of disease. In the case of COVID-19, contact tracing is a multi-step process of supporting patients and warning people who they may have exposed. It is a specialized skill, requiring people with the training, supervision, and access to social and medical support for patients and contacts.

Rapid contact tracing of people who test positive for COVID-19 is important to reduce the disease spread and future exposures. It means carefully isolating those with COVID-19 so they are unable to transmit it to others. It also means testing those who may have been exposed and having them quarantine themselves until it is determined that they are not infected.

Gating Criteria Targets: 

Time from COVID-19 positive test result to:

  • isolation of the person who tested positive (24 hours or less)
  • quarantine of the people who they may have exposed (36 or less)

In these graphs downward trend is the desired development. NM aims to have contact tracing times as low as possible. Beginning 5/16, DOH will report median hours as a result of data generated from updated methodology.