According to the World Health Organization, contact tracing — along with testing — should be the “backbone of the response” in order to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention agrees.
In the past two months, states have deployed thousands of human contact tracers — a role that involves “detective work, profound humility, tact” and “cold-calling people who may be irritated to hear from you,” according to a STAT News feature about Yale School of Public Health Students in baptism-by-fire training scenarios. Of course, there’s also an app for that. In fact, there seems to be a new one by the minute.
Real estate is in a position to play a central part in the rollout of contact tracing technology: The proptech solutions that many owners have integrated into buildings have the ability to track and trace where building users go and with whom they interact.
But this ability is being played out against a background of distrust in how effective the systems are and how the data will be used: even if it can help save lives, people do not like the idea of being tracked and traced.
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