About 20,000 public employees are will be reassigned to work as coronavirus case investigators and contact tracers, Gov. Gavin Newsom said during his COVID-19 press briefing on Monday.
Newsom said that as part of a statewide plan to reopening businesses across California on Friday, the state will train the employees as contact tracers, who will then break up into two groups. One group will be responsible for contacting those who have tested positive to ask them questions about the names of everyone in their households and who they may have had contact with for more than 30 minutes.
A second group of tracers will contact those who are believed to have been exposed, and take their temperature and check in on them for 14-days. The tracers will call, text, email or use online chatting to perform the tracing steps.
Right now, fewer than 3,000 people are currently doing contact tracing for the state's 58 counties.
The plan to shift public employees' duties comes after Newsom announced California would modify its current 'Safer-at-Home' orders beginning Friday. Under the loosened restrictions, some low-risk retail stores will be reopening for pickup, including: clothing, book stores, music, toys, sporting goods stores, and florists. If locally certified by health officials and proper capacity is in place, places like restaurants can move further into phase two.
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