Smart Talk Monday: Contact tracing moves forward with varying success and helping refugees is one woman’s life’s work

Contact tracing is a key strategy touted by Pennsylvania health officials as an integral part of stopping, or mitigating, the spread of the coronavirus.  

The process of tracking the contacts of an infected person is a disease control measure that is also used by public health officials to prevent the spread of other infectious diseases, like the measles and sexually transmitted diseases. The challenge is in the resources it requires to track accurately. 

Many counties in Pennsylvania have moved forward with reopening plans, even without thresources and trained personnel in place to conduct the tracing. The result could be a resurgence of infections.  

Spotlight PA reporter Aneri Pattani investigated the “patchwork” system that is in place right now, and she joins Smart Talk with more details.  

The Lancaster branch of Church World Service is part of a larger organization and network of faith-based humanitarian agenciesTheir role in the community is to assist refugees, immigrants, and asylum-seekers who are seeking safety and new lives in the United States.  

Sheila Mastropietro has spent the past 33 years overseeing the resettlement of literally thousands of refugees in Lancaster County as part of CWS. At one point, there were more resettlements there per capita than anywhere in the country earning Lancaster the title of “refugee capital of America.”  

Sheila Mastropietro appears on Smart Talk to share her experiences upon retirement.  

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