Home>Articles>California Looking For a Few Good ‘Disease Detectives’ for Gov. Newsom’s COVID-19 Tracing Army

Gov. Gavin Newsom at press conference. (Photo: Twitter, Office of the Governor)

California Looking For a Few Good ‘Disease Detectives’ for Gov. Newsom’s COVID-19 Tracing Army

‘I’m from the government, and I’m here to quarantine you’

By Katy Grimes, June 24, 2020 3:43 pm

California Gov. Gavin Newsom said in May that contact tracing those who test positive for coronavirus would be crucial to reopening the state’s economy.

Contact tracing is used to identify who may have been in contact with those who test positive for coronavirus. The Centers for Disease Control explains that contact tracers will “identify an infected person and track down every person and location that might have been exposed ‘for a prolonged period of time’ during the incubation period. They’re not told the identity of who might have exposed them.”

Initially there was talk of identifying the contacts and quarantining: “The tracing component requires workforce and to identify individuals who tested positive…to ID their contacts (with privacy) and maybe quarantine individuals to stop the spread of the disease,” Newsom said.

Many state employees have been redeployed to training as contact tracers, but the California Department of Public Health is apparently looking for a lot more.

A source in state employment forwarded this email message to California Globe:

Subject: Call for Additional Volunteers: COVID-19 Disease Detectives

CA Dept. of Health graphic of contact tracing process. (Photo: CDPH)

As our CEO Marcie Frost alluded to in her weekly webchats, the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) needs additional contact tracers to support state and local public health departments. This morning the Government Operations Agency (GovOps) reached out stressing the need for additional tracers for classes starting next Monday.

Contact tracers or “disease detectives” are responsible for interviewing individuals who test positive for COVID-19, identifying and locating their known contacts, and monitoring and supporting those who must self-isolate. Contact tracing is critical to help contain the ongoing pandemic while the state looks to modify the stay at home order.

CalPERS is seeking additional team members with immediate, full time availability to be redeployed to the CDPH for at least six months to assist in this effort. Interested team members should complete this survey no later than 2 pm today.

As public servants, our highest calling is to serve the people of the state, and now more than ever they need us for this urgent COVID response that could be a matter of life and death for thousands of people. We apologize for the short notice but with the increasing COVID numbers, it’s imperative we get people trained and ready for deployment as soon as possible.

To learn more about California’s contact tracing efforts please visit: https://covid19.ca.gov/contact-tracing/

Questions may be directed to Sophia.Ferro@calpers.ca.gov

Initially Gov. Newsom said he wanted to hire 10,000 contact tracers statewide, but upped that amount to 20,000.

A recent Washington Times article summed up the creepiness of contact tracing. Imagine you are notified by a stranger on your cell phone:

“‘Hey, you’ve been in contact with someone who’s tested positive. Can you quarantine?’


That’s what should be the normal reaction to a telephone caller who identifies as a member of the government, professes to have information about your whereabouts in recent times, claims to have the inside scoop on personal and private health and medical information — and then suggests you stay at home for a couple weeks. Off the streets. Out of work. Away from the public and people.

George Orwell couldn’t have penned a more frightening scenario.”


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7 thoughts on “California Looking For a Few Good ‘Disease Detectives’ for Gov. Newsom’s COVID-19 Tracing Army

  1. A neat trick to build up the state worker force beyond reason and intimidate and intrude on people needlessly at the same time. There is no need for “contact tracing” anymore once the cats are out of the bag. It is only at the beginning that there is arguably any usefulness for it. I probably read the details of that reality in a Katy Grimes article here at the Globe. It is also common sense, but none of that matters to characters like Gov Gruesome et al. There is no earnest governance here. There is no “care” for others. Please. These are insidious threats to average Californians by arrogant, smirking, malevolent people. If we can do nothing else about it at the moment we can at least know it. And who knows where that knowledge will lead.

  2. Pretty soon almost everybody will have had or be exposed to COVID-19. If this is true, what are the going to do lock everybody in their homes? Why aren’t people rioting about losing their freedom. California is a police state and we allowed it.

    1. Sharon Reeve: They will probably lie about and mess with the numbers again to re-trigger the fear and panic they first implanted in Californians in March.
      There were many protests, in major California cities, against the lockdowns, which also sought to bring attention to suffering businesses and other issues. They were all notable for their well-behaved and orderly crowds. One of them, in Sacramento, where thousands of people marched, included families with children. It had been denied a permit on orders from the Governor and was met on May 1st with an intimidating phalanx of CHP officers. There were also several questionable arrests, including one of a mother of four children, which was recently covered by Katy Grimes in The Globe:
      “Mother of Four Arrested at May 1st State Capitol Protest Speaks Out”

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