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Gov. Gavin Newsom on Friday announced the launch of a public awareness campaign for the state’s Covid-19 case investigation program.

The state launched a partnership with the University of California at San Francisco and UCLA earlier this month to begin training thousands of coronavirus contact tracers who will attempt to limit the spread of the virus in real time.

The “California Connected” public awareness campaign — which will include radio and social media ads, billboards and videos in multiple languages — is intended to get state residents to “answer the call” when their local public health department reaches out to recruit them as a contact tracer, according to Newsom.

Newsom said:

“That simple action of answering the call could save lives and help keep our families and communities healthy.”

California Department of Public Health A graphic depicting how Covid-19 contact tracing works.

Newsom has said the state hopes to train roughly 20,000 contact tracers by the first week of July through the partnership program and disperse them throughout the state’s 58 counties. The state has received some $5.1 million in private financial support to spur the California Connected campaign and reach the 20,000-tracer goal.

The state’s 58 counties and three cities with separate health departments have roughly 3,000 contact tracers already in the field, according to Newsom. More than 500 have already been trained through the state’s program as well, with another 300 scheduled to complete the 20-hour training course this week.

California Department of Public Health Director Dr. Sonia Angell said:

“We are bringing together the best minds in public health, academia and private industry to design a program that can help lower the risk for Covid-19 in all of our communities and keep us on the path to reopening.”

Information on the state’s contact tracing program can be found at covid19.ca.gov/contact-tracing.

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