Contact tracing is an important public health tool for containing the spread of disease, including COVID-19. But contact tracers are effective only if they can persuade people to answer questions about recent whereabouts and who else might have been exposed. Contact tracers are more likely to be successful in their outreach if they and the people they are contacting have similar backgrounds. Currently, no one collects and reports information on the composition of the COVID-19 workforce in communities across the country, making it difficult to know whether the workforce could be more effective with focused recruitment strategies. However, a partnership between Mathematica and the Public Health Foundation sheds light on who is engaged in contact tracing during the pandemic and how their backgrounds compare with the backgrounds of people in their local communities.
On this episode of On the Evidence, guests Ilya Plotkin and Jia Pu discuss an interactive dashboard that uses a large and unique national data set to visualize demographic data of COVID-19 contact tracing trainees and the communities they serve.
- Plotkin is the director of the TRAIN Learning Network, a service of the Public Health Foundation that provides a clearinghouse of learning opportunities, including free training on contact tracing, for health professionals. Although it is not the only source of training on contact tracing, it is one of the largest. As of early April 2021, more than 40,000 people participated in its training on COVID-19 contact tracing.
- Pu is a health researcher at Mathematica who led the development of the dashboard based on data from the TRAIN Learning Network and other sources.
During the podcast, Plotkin and Pu share how their personal backgrounds as part of Russian and Chinese immigrant communities in the U.S. motivated them to develop a resource for culturally sensitive, equitable, and effective contact tracing during the pandemic. They discuss potential applications of the dashboard and important limitations of the data. They also explain why contact tracing, as a tool for controlling and preventing disease spread, will only grow in importance as more people are vaccinated, infections decline, and more parts of the economy, such as schools and offices, reopen.
Listen to the full episode below.
You know, we're entering a new phase of the COVID-19 response, but contact tracing isn't going away. It's going to continue to be important and hopefully contact tracers will have more time and more of them will have more time to do the work in full as they're able to do with other diseases where contact tracing is pretty standardized.
I’m J.B. Wogan from Mathematica and welcome back to On the Evidence, a show that examines what we know about today’s most urgent challenges and how we can make progress in addressing them.
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This episode is about contact tracing for COVID-19. And specifically, we’re going to talk about who gets trained and hired to be a contact tracer and why it matters that the backgrounds of contact tracers line up with the backgrounds of communities they serve. Particularly in the context of a pandemic that has exploited and exacerbated health disparities, having the right people with the right competencies in your local contact tracing workforce can ensure that the residents who are at the highest risk of exposure and severe illness get the help they need to be safe and supported.
We’ll also talk about why contact tracing, as a tool for preventing and controlling disease spread, will only grow in importance as more people are vaccinated, infection rates decline, and more parts of the economy, like schools and offices, reopen.
My guests for this episode are Jia Pu and Ilya Plotkin. We spoke in early April, shortly before all adults became eligible for the COVID-19 vaccines.
Jia is a health researcher at Mathematica.
Ilya is the director of the TRAIN Learning Network, which is a service of the Public Health Foundation that provides a clearinghouse of learning opportunities for health professionals, including free training on contact tracing. It is not the only source of training on contact tracing out there, but lots of people are using it. As of early April 2021, more than 35,000 people had taken training on contact tracing for COVID-19 through the TRAIN Learning Network.
Earlier this year, Jia and Ilya led a data science project, in which the Public Health Foundation and Mathematica partnered to create an interactive dashboard that integrates and visualizes data on people who have taken training on contact tracing through the TRAIN Learning Network and compares the backgrounds of those contact tracing trainees with the backgrounds of the communities they would be serving.
So, for example, I can look up the Commonwealth of Virginia, where I live, and my specific county, Alexandria, and then see how the composition of contact tracer trainees aligns with composition of residents, specifically in terms of race, gender, age, education, and language. From the looks of it, the contact tracers are a little more likely to be white and speak English as a first language than the overall community.
There are some important limitations to the data, which we’ll discuss in the interview, but the hope is that this dashboard can inform state and local organizations that hire and train contact tracers, so they can see, for example, that in a specific local area they might need more people who are fluent in say, Russian or Spanish or Mandarin.
Besides displaying the demographic data, the dashboard also shows how COVID-19 cases and deaths have trended over time in a community and it shows a community’s pandemic vulnerability index score. In April, Alexandria’s score, was zero point five five, on a scale from zero to one, where zero means low vulnerability and scores closer to one mean a community is more vulnerable to COVID-19.
You can find the dashboard on Mathematica’s website. Ilya and Jia also wrote a blog to provide more context about the dashboard and its underlying data.
I really enjoyed this conversation and I hope you do, too.
I wanted to start by asking about your motivations for creating the dashboard in the first place. Why were you interested in showing data on the demographics of contact tracing trainees and the communities they serve and why visualize it? Why, why provide the information in this specific format?
So from, from our end Public Health Foundation improves public health and population health practice to support healthier communities. That's our mission. And this dashboard reflects an opportunity to really do just that. Mathematica reached out to PHF and we are really glad that happened. And together we created this tool that can be used by states, localities, counties, and even federal partners in policy and program planning purposes. To look at the mix of contact tracers as compared to the community offers insight into factors that could influence success of those programs. There are, of course, you know, many other factors that play a role. This isn't the only one, but this is an important one. And, you know, to touch on the second part of your question of why, why an interactive dashboard. I think this is a great question. I'm glad that Mathematica has the expertise in data visualization to make this happen.
And we were lucky to get to work together. But the dashboard, from our perspective really allows online visitors to feel the data and explore the data. A spreadsheet can't do that. It would just be one massive spreadsheet and you would get lost, but in, in a dashboard they can dive into the references. They can change their county options. They can compare and contrast easily and incorporate it into your understanding of what's going on out there in the world. One last point, or item, from my end, I think at the end of the day, some people are just visual learners and this approach feels more natural to them to process and understand. And I can certainly relate to that. I think the dashboard is really in a way to say beautiful. It's a pretty way to present the data, compared to a spreadsheet.
Jia, is there anything you'd like to add in terms of motivations for, for this project?
I would say Mathematica as a company, uh, and I, as a health researcher, have been thinking about what we can do to help combat COVID-19 since the pandemic started. And we are so concerned, like because of racial, ethnic, and other disparities in health, like the pandemic could affect certain minority groups, disproportionally, and this is exactly what happened.
We certainly know that contact tracing is an important tool to manage the spread of the disease and also to combat the pandemic. Um, we also know that contact tracing is only effective if people are willing to share the information with contact tracers. So building trust between the contact tracers and the people who have been exposed to the virus is an essential piece in making a contact tracing program work. I can just imagine myself getting a phone call from a stranger telling me that, Hey, you have been exposed to COVID-19 and that could be totally a shock.
However, if that person shares similar backgrounds, for example, if that person lives in the same community or speaks the same language, I certainly would feel more close to this person and probably would be more willing to respond to questions and provide honest answers because this person understands me, understands where I come from and understand my culture.
And then we also understand how challenging it could be for the states, counties and others to develop contract tracing strategies to meet their community's needs. Um, but also could it be overwhelmed by available numbers and reports. That's where we thought, Hey, we Mathematica has expertise in data, methods, and the policy, and we could partner ways a Public Health Foundation, um, who are the leader in providing training and the learning opportunities to public health to build these interactive online dashboard. And, uh, it could serve as a one-stop shop to provide key information about the communities. We could also present the demographics of those who received contact tracing training through the TRAIN platform. So the contact tracing workforce planning team could initiate a discussion about, uh, potential needs from the community and or so based on that they could build a contact tracing workforce whose demographic profile is well aligned with the local community.
Okay. And let me pick up on one thing that I know came up when I worked with you all on the blog that we posted on the Mathematica site to provide some additional context about this dashboard. Uh, I believe the word equity came up and I was hoping you could explain a little bit more about the concept of how this might contribute to a more equitable approach to contact tracing.
I would say equity is really important in thinking about contact tracing. And also I think it is really important for the communities of color and those who are older than age 65, these are just the two examples, we already know people in these groups have higher rates of infection, and many of them are part of the essential workforce. So they just cannot work from home and they face economic and logistic hurdles. And then for those who are 65 or older, they have unique challenges. And our hope is that by using insights from the dashboard about the, for example, the age distribution and the racial-ethnic distribution in a community, that could inform like the states and the counties and others who are developing the contact tracing strategies about the backgrounds and skills their contact tracers will need to be mostly effective. And also they seem information could help them to come up with communication strategies or cultural competence strategies that are tailored to their own community.
Okay. One could imagine that that the language would be an important component to being able to speak the language that's, uh, or languages that are, um, uh, dominant in the community would be an important, um, asset for a contact tracer.
Yeah. I, I totally agree with that. And this goes back to my passion about addressing health disparities, like as a first-generation immigrant to the United States. I totally understand the challenge. I have experienced the challenges of integrating into a new culture, as well as picking up a new language. Um, so I have been really passionate about improving minority health and addressing health disparities. And I would say, yeah, I think language, um, competence and cultural competence, would be really important, um, piece in building the trust between the contact tracers and those who are exposed to the COVID-19.
Yeah, I was going to ask about, you know, on a personal level, how each of you became interested in the backgrounds of contact tracers. Um, Jia, so you, you, you've already teed up this question a little bit by talking about your personal, immigration experience, but, um, yeah. Any, anything that, anything else that you want to say, or Ilya, that you want to say about how your personal experience informs the work that you've done around contact tracing and this dashboard?
Yeah, absolutely. I think it's important to recognize a dashboard is really a starting point. It's meant to say, look at what's out there so far. This is what we have, and look at what we could do if we had a truly national picture of training and education in public health, you know, health care preparedness when it comes to contact tracing, and when it comes to the workforce as a whole and in different sub sectors. So I think it's important to recognize that there's, there's so much that could be done if we had more data sources, more partners using similar or interoperable platforms, um. With the dashboard itself, um, we, we plan to update it regularly. I think as often as two week, every two weeks Jia, um, I think that's, that's the ideal hope I, and I think your, your question about vaccine rollout is really critical. You know, we're entering a new phase of the COVID-19 response, but contact tracing isn't going away. It's going to continue to be important and hopefully contact tracers will have more time and more of them will have more time to do the work in full as they're able to do with other diseases where contact tracing is pretty standardized. For tuberculosis, with Ebola, which we don't have, but obviously in Africa they do contact tracing for Ebola. I think that will be a good direction that the dashboard can build on, and I'm optimistic that it'll turn into a feedback loop where we will know more about the workforce, and then we'll be able to more effectively reach out to our hardest-to-reach communities. I think that's an important aspect.
I think that, you know, apart from just that community aspect and growing up, uh, I don't know, on the professional slash personal side, knowing more about the composition of the workforce in the health workforce has been something that has been pursued over the years, um, particularly in, in public health, um, where there's a lot of challenges. You know, we understand that knowing who's in that workforce in aggregate would be really helpful and having that workforce better reflect our communities overall and at the granular level, when it comes down to a particular locality, just, you know, not just at the national level. And so identifying any of these inequities can help us develop strategies and frameworks for, for solutions.
This is a one step it's, it's a small step, but it's an important step. And knowing that information just for this subset of the contact tracing workforce, or trying to better understand it is a, is a step in that direction. So as we saw contact tracing really pick up in response to COVID-19, we recognized an opportunity to better understand this, this segment of the workforce, who, you know, who they were, or what kind of education they have. All these things are important and can continue to inform future programming. Contact tracing isn't really going away, nor did it not exist before COVID-19. So I think that all of our personal experiences can add up, even if you live in a heavily English speaking community, you can still see the effects of not having a contact tracing workforce that matches up. Imagine, you know, the reverse, if you were in an English speaking community, and you had contact tracers that only spoke Russian or Spanish, it wouldn't really work for you. So it, it works both ways.
And Jia. I think I may have just missed it, but, um, you're, you're originally from-
China, and the language and the language, your first, first, first language then would be-
Out of curiosity, are there any beyond language, are there other things that for either of the communities you come from, you know, certain cultural norms that the concentrator would need to be aware of if they were reaching out like something that might, um, might hurt their ability to connect with somebody, somebody they're calling, uh, beyond just the, uh, the use of language?
I can say for our culture, it would it be pretty normal for a big family to live together, like three generations together. So it would be really challenging to say, Hey, you need to self-quarantine and then not contact any other family members for two weeks. So I think that's just the one challenge we need to understand, like that's the setup and that's a cultural norm from where we come from. And I think it's really important to explain the importance and also to maybe help those who are exposed to COVID-19 come up with an innovative solution that could meet the self-quarantine requirements, but also, um, help them still stay connected with the family members who basically live under the same roof.
Yeah. I would just add, I think another, another aspect to me is just trust in government, um, trust in institutions. Those don't necessarily exist from in the same manner in the United States as they do elsewhere throughout the world. Um, and I think the culture can have a multi-generational effect. Um, you don't have to be a first-generation immigrant in order to kind of, I guess, inherit those qualities of trust in government. Um, so I think that those are, those are some aspects that I would say impact, you know, communities and having that personal connection to somebody who's a contact tracer. Doesn't have to be that I know you, it could be, I know somebody who knows somebody who knows somebody who knows you. So we're a part of the same network in the most traditional sense, not in the online social network sense. So I think that those are important aspects to be able to relate to one another and to really take action on one's health and one's potential health outcomes.
Okay. All right. That's yeah, that's a good point as well. Um, so one point that you make on the dashboard and on the block about the dashboard is that you're using data from a specific source, the TRAIN Learning Network, and for listeners who are not yet familiar with the TRAIN Learning Network Ilya, could you just educate us? What is it, what information does it provide about contact tracers in the U.S. and what are the important limitations or caveats that we need to mention in this conversation when we're talking about the data that this dashboard is using?
Yeah, absolutely. I'll, I'll try to stick to a short answer as I can. So the, the Train Learning Network is, is the project at, um, Public Health Foundation that I lead. We usually shorten it to just train. So I might say that a couple of times instead of the entire name. And so TRAIN is a, it's a collaborative effort between health agencies at all levels, federal state, tribal, local, other government agencies, academic institutions, nonprofits, private sector, and others to build health workforce capacity. Uh, TRAIN has been around for awhile. It launched in 2003, so well before my time, uh, and has evolved extensively ever since with continuous input, from multiple stakeholders across the health sector. An important aspect of TRAIN, that it is an open platform that allows any individual to create an account and take training online, or to find training in person.
A lot of training also offers continuing education for licensed professionals across the health spectrum. So physicians and clinicians, nurses, health educators, pharmacists, uh, kind of you name it, um, a lot of different professions and, uh, an important aspect within that is there isn't any cost to create an account on train and access to available training. So people that are students, people that are mid-career late career are consistently creating accounts. And over 3 million people have created accounts on TRAIN. I want to mention that we work closely with 27 different States who use trained to manage their health workforce. Although, like I said, anyone can create an account in any state or country for that matter. And we also work with federal agencies, training professionals across the country. So they work across the different states, territories, and other jurisdictions, and these agencies and organizations that use TRAIN that we work with operate as a community. They share resources, contents at its training and more or less, um, by using a shared platform approach, they achieve economies of scale.
So all of this is to really say that it's, it's more than just an online website or a platform for learning. There's a, there's a community aspect to it that, you know, in, in my opinion, and obviously that's, that's biased as the lead on this, is unrivaled. Within that, when people create their accounts, they, they put in information, there's an exchange that goes on. And in return for you taking training, we get to know more about who you are as an individual. So there are required fields like your name and the state you work in. Um, but we also have optional fields that are demographic fields. We don't require these, but many individuals fill those fields in to give us a better understanding of who the workforce is and who's taking that training.
I feel like here, I also want to mention, just in response to COVID-19 has been massive. Um, and just two numbers that, you know, help tell a part of that story is over the past year, we've had about 900,000 new learners create accounts and people have completed 3.7 million trainings. Those are much larger numbers than we've seen in year to year, um, experience in the past. And we're, we're happy about that. We want more people to know about this resource.
And I think the second part of your question was about, you know, caveats and limitations. And when it comes to the dashboard, there are, there are certainly a handful. Uh, I, I mentioned a few in Jia, please, please fill in the gaps because you really helped us out with this and love this part, but ultimately not everyone uses TRAIN. There are other platforms out there and other platforms were used for, for our contact tracing training that were released. So within that, we are likely to have over-representation in the states that we work most closely with.
And the other, the other aspect is definitely going to be the voluntary nature of the demographic information it's asked, but not required. Some people will fill it in, some people won't. So we don't always absolutely know even basic facts, whether somebody is a male, female, or other, we just may know a name. And then we look at that information in aggregate.
Yeah. So I think I totally agree with, uh, earlier, like the missing data in demographics and the limited information about contact tracing trainees in the states who are not partnered with TRAIN, would be the two most important limitations when thinking about the use of the dashboard. Because demographic information is self-reported by the contact tracing trainees, it's understandable some trainees didn't report their demographics.
We used our methodology expertise to best to predict their demographics based on available data. But overall, I think this really calls for more robust the reporting for future programs, thinking about the importance to improve diversity, equity, and inclusion, we need to start with more comprehensive understanding of the workforce of the community. And also regarding the limited information for those states or not partner with a TRAIN, we just want to say we really welcome partnership opportunities to work with other data sources who also providing a contact tracing training, or they have data about the contact tracing workforce. I think by working together, we can incorporate those information into the dashboard and the dashboard could provide more comprehensive information about the contact tracing, uh, workforce nationwide.
Okay, perfect. So I, want to wrap up this conversation by looking a little bit ahead to the future, and you've referenced Jia, you just referenced one, one example of something that might happen in the future, where there could be opportunities for future partnership and, and integrating datasets, but in terms of state and local organizations that hire and train contact tracers, how do you envision they might use the dashboard?
Yeah. I think that this is a great question. When it comes to state or local organizations that are hiring contact tracers in their community, the dashboards really to can help them get an idea of the current composition of contact tracers in that area, at least what we're able to share. That data is, of course, going to be incomplete, but it provides a very helpful overview and it can inform them, you know, how they can better serve that community and support the contact tracing work that they're doing. It can inform, you know, a more equitable approach to meeting the needs of that community. And at the same time, hopefully a more successful approach to do the work that they need to do.
So I'm hopeful that will learn of use cases in the near future, as we push out the dashboard and more people become aware of it and are, are interested in talking about it. I think that once we ease out slowly into the recovery phase of the pandemic, there will be more information on what tools people used, after-action reports, and other, other similar data.
So I would say, I think this is not really from the organization’s perspective, but more from the personal experience. Two of our project team members, unfortunately, were diagnosed with COVID-19 while working on the project. They actually shared with us like how this experience further motivated them to develop these dashboards. They mentioned the contact tracers have been so overwhelmed. They have a long list and they have a lot of questions they probably have been rejected for so many times during the day. And some of them are really new to contact tracing. Those could be volunteers who are really passionate about helping combat the pandemic, and they would definitely appreciate a better understanding of the community they serve, and also communication training strategies tailored to their communities.
So wait, were those insights. It sounds like, some of your team members who were contacted, um, by contact tracers, where at some point in the interview process, did they turn around and start asking questions of the contact tracer to get a better understanding of what that experience was like to be a contact tracer right now?
Yeah, I think one of them did. And, um, I think that contact tracer just thought, they actually the really, I appreciate that the opportunity to share their experience as a contact tracer, they shared a lot of challenges and the frustration they faced every day. And, um, then our team member brought up the possibility of, or this effort of creating an interactive dashboard to provide more information about the local community and also characteristics of the local contact tracing trainees. And they thought that's such a great idea. And they thought this could be a way help shape up some of the training opportunities and training communication strategies that could provide and help the contact tracers who serve those local communities. I think that's really rewarding. I feel like we put so much effort into this dashboard and it's so good to know the dashboard could that be helpful and to help the contact tracers, um, and to help them combat the COVID-19 combat pandemic and also to basically improve the wellbeing of public health.
Well, I, I love that your team member is so enterprising that even in a moment of crisis, when, um, that person saw an opportunity to gather new information, new data to inform the COVID-19 response, they, they took that opportunity.
Um, all right. So the last question I have is, um, so what are your plans for the dashboard moving forward? And how do you envision the dashboard informing the pandemic response as we get deeper into this vaccine rollout? What role is context tracing going to be playing as, as we get into this next phase of the pandemic and how can the dashboard be useful during, during that period?
Yeah, absolutely. I think it's important to recognize a dashboard is really a starting point. It's meant to say, look at what's out there so far. This is what we have, and look at what we could do if we had a truly national picture of training and education in public health, you know, health care preparedness when it comes to contact tracing, and when it comes to the workforce as a whole and in different sub sectors. So I think it's important to recognize that there's, there's so much that could be done if we had more data sources, more partners using similar or interoperable platforms, um. With the dashboard itself, um, we, we plan to update it regularly. I think as often as two week, every two weeks Jia, um, I think that's, that's the ideal hope I, and I think your, your question about vaccine rollout is really critical. You know, we're, we're entering a new phase of the COVID-19 response, um, but contact tracing isn't, isn't going away. It's going to be, it's going to continue to be important and hopefully contact tracers will have more time and more than we'll have more time to do the work in full as they're able to do with other diseases that were contact tracing is pretty standardized. For tuberculosis, with Ebola, which we don't have, but obviously in Africa they do contact tracing for Ebola. Uh, I think that will be a good direction for that the dashboard can build on, and I'm optimistic that it'll turn into a feedback loop where we will know more about the workforce, and then we'll be able to effective, more effectively reaching out to our hardest-to-reach communities. I think that's an important aspect.
And it's important to remember that the vaccines, people are not, everyone's getting the vaccines at the same time. We, um, we are still, you know, I know in, in here in Washington DC, we're still reaching out to individuals to get vaccines, trying to convince everybody to, as many people as possible, to be vaccinated. So I think all of those factors will help improve our situation. Um, but we'll also continue to maybe the word is remagnify the, the role of contact tracing and the response.
Jia, what else, what else, uh, do you have in mind for the future of this dashboard and its utility in later stages of the pandemic?
Yeah. Um, so first I totally agree with Ilya. I think that contact tracing and the dashboard will still be relevant. Even now as we roll out the vaccination. We know, like there, it could be like several months before the vaccine reached that general population and the general, like a certain proportion of the general population, uh, receive vaccination. And also we know, um, the take-up rate, could it be low or a vary by community. There could be communities with inadequate access, or there could be some communities with a higher proportion of residents who choose to forgo the vaccine. So with all of those considerations, it's definitely important to keep up with the contact tracing work. We are planning to update the dashboard every two to three weeks, so we can still provide those important information about the contact tracing workforce. And, uh, if there is a second wave, knock on the wood, we could be more prepared and the contact tracing strategies could be more effective and we could reach out to the more difficult or communities with higher needs for contact tracing and to, um, help address that racial, ethnic and, um, other kinds of health disparities.
And also I would, um, add that I think I also agree with Ilya. This is just the start, and, but this is a really important piece of work to think about our future efforts to improve diversity, equity and inclusion.
If I could pick up a one thing that I remember in a prep call with you, Ilya, you had mentioned this idea of a U shape, in terms of how, uh, the relevance of contact tracing in the lifespan of a sort of a disease outbreak. I'll let you explain what you meant by that, but it struck me as important, because I think, um, in late spring of last year, it seems like some states were so overwhelmed by the pandemic and how quickly COVID-19 was spreading that contact tracing started to seem irrelevant because, uh, it was moving faster than people could track down new cases. Um, and, uh, some people may have the impression that it's still irrelevant. So if you could explain how it becomes more important as we start to get the pandemic under control, I think that would be useful.
Yeah, I think absolutely. We, we, we heard this from, from different partners about how challenging contact tracing became because you can't really contact trace the entire population. Um, the idea is to trace something through the, through the population. So as, as more people are vaccinated, as more people take other precautions, you know, whether it's physical distancing or other infection control measures, we'll be able to really see COVID-19 as it spreads through a community better and to contact trace, and really limit the effects of that spread even even more so. You know, I've heard in, uh, in the last week, there've been a couple of reports of universities that are planning to return to in-person training or in-person education, um, and requiring all of their students to, to be vaccinated, I believe, if they return. And you can imagine how in that kind of environment, a semi-closed population of students and educators and other support staff, how contact tracing would work in that environment, where if there was a reported case that they would be able to go through and identify what other close contacts and potential cases there might be. Um, and to really understand how to limit the spread of COVID-19 in that, in that setting, in that environment.
And I think that that is one of the other aspects to recognize is that it's not just government agencies that will do contract tracing, academic institutions will manage it for their academic institutions, large workplaces, factories, and others will. They want to keep operating and to keep open once they open, and to do that successfully, they would mean to make sure that there aren't any massive outbreaks of COVID-19 that would be a risk to their staff to risk to the local population, et cetera. So within that scope, they’ll be picking up and building up their contact tracing efforts, hopefully with the support of the government agencies that they work with and working together, that's really the ideal scenario there, but that will, we'll certainly see contact tracing continue to grow in importance over the coming time, as we can begin to really be able to control how this spreads in our vaccinated and more protected communities and in all the communities really, um, but particularly in the ones that need the most support.
Terrific. Okay. I've run through my battery of questions, uh, before I let you go, anything that we should have covered that we haven't yet.
I think the only thing that I'd love to add is just to add to what Jia said about additional data that can go into the dashboard Public Health Foundation and from the TRAIN Learning Network, we were excited to partner with Mathematica to share this data on, on the aggregate level and really get a picture of the contact tracing workforce. But I really welcome any other training providers that have additional data to contribute, to connect with Mathematica and make this dashboard really much stronger with additional information.
Okay, great. Well, I really appreciate your time today. Thank you for creating this dashboard and, and contributing to the, the pandemic response and thank you for, uh, sharing what you've learned with the podcast.
Thank you for having me.
Thanks again to my guests, Ilya Plotkin and Jia Pu. You can find the dashboard we discussed, as well as a blog about the dashboard, at Mathematica dot org.
I also want to thank Rich Clement, my colleague on the Mathematica communications team who provided audio engineering for this episode. And finally, thank you for listening to another episode of On the Evidence, the Mathematica podcast. There are a few ways you can keep up with future episodes: Subscribe wherever you find podcasts or follow us on Twitter. I’m at JBWogan. Mathematica is at MathematicaNow.
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Show notesRead a blog post by Ilya Plotkin and Jia Pu that provides further context about the COVID-19 contact tracing workforce dashboard.
Explore the COVID-19 contact tracing workforce dashboard.