Covid-19

Contact Tracing: A Pivotal Role in the Coronavirus Pandemic

"Trying to protect you and the people around you from getting sick and infecting anyone else that they might have come into contact with,” said 30 year-old Al Mosallaie.

NBC Universal, Inc.

In the midst of a pandemic and the highest unemployment rate since the great depression, contact tracing seems to be one of the jobs of the moment.

This week the county warned that COVID-19 cases are on the rise and San Diego is nearing the purple tier.

Contact tracing is a pivotal role in containing this pandemic.

A contact tracer's job requires them to find everyone who has been in close contact with a person who has contracted COVID-19 and keep them from passing the virus onto others.

When 30 year-old Al Mosallaie had a hard time finding work, a job as a contact tracer for the County of San Diego was not only intriguing but seemed like a way to help.

"Trying to protect you and the people around you from getting sick and infecting anyone else that they might have come into contact with,” said Mosallaie.

For five months he worked with investigators to find people that were exposed to a person who had tested positive for COVID-19.

That could be anyone who had been within six feet of an infected person for at least ten to fifteen minutes. He had to also find out who was showing symptoms of the coronavirus.

"If they are putting them into isolation. And if they are putting them into quarantine,” said Mosallaie.

Over the summer NBC7 San Diego got a peek inside the County’s Health and Human Services headquarters where many contact tracers worked.

Mosallaie worked remotely from home, he said, and left in September for another job opportunity.

Mosallaie says his calls were not always well received, but many were appreciated.

"Someone who's just like why are you asking me this? Why do you need all this information and then the other person being like oh I appreciate you doing this. You're putting in all this work and this service. Really appreciate all the work that you're putting in,” said Mosallaie.

He believes the latter is why so many contact tracers do the job, to make a difference.

Contact Us