Washington state is starting a contact tracing program to keep track of the spread of coronavirus as more businesses open up.
“This initiative is a transition from one strategy to another," Gov. Jay Inslee said Tuesday afternoon.
Inslee said people who test positive for Covid-19 will be contacted by a “professional interviewer” to identify other people who could have been exposed. Those contacts may be asked to test and self-quarantine until they get a negative result.
He said hundreds of members of the National Guard will be used as part of the contact tracing group, but they will not have law enforcement power to compel people to comply.
“They simply will be talking to people and helping prevent others from getting sick,” Inslee said.
He added keeping infected people from spreading the virus is the key to getting life back to normal.
“This virus doesn't have any legs,” Inslee said. “It can't travel without us.”