Reopening could require thousands more public health workers

SEATTLE (AP) — As U.S. officials weigh how and when to reopen the country, experts are fretting that there aren’t enough public health workers to suppress another coronavirus outbreak. That’s especially true when it comes to workers who are qualified to do contact tracing, the effort to find and quarantine people who may have been exposed to the virus. Reopening could require as many as 300,000 public health workers — a daunting number given that the combined federal, state, and local public health workforce has been shrinking. The problem has inspired some novel ideas, including enlisting Peace Corps volunteers and furloughed social workers.