Librarians, national guard recruited for states’ new contact tracing armies

WASHINGTON, DC - MARCH 16: Workers from the White House Physician's Office check the body temperatures of people entering the White House with a forehead temperature scanner on March 16, 2020 in Washington, DC. The White House is now routinely checking the temperatures of people who may be in close contact with President Donald Trump or Vice President Mike Pence as efforts to contain the COVID-19 virus continue. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

By Jacob Fischler

Earlier this month, Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf said his state would create  a civilian task force to help Pennsylvania with coronavirus testing and contact tracing this fall.

The Commonwealth Civilian Coronavirus Corps will allow the state to expand testing for COVID-19 and guide decisions about reopening businesses.

Pa. changed the way it reports negative COVID-19 tests. But officials can’t say when it began or how many tests are affected

“We do not want to spend the next few months or next year cloistered inside our homes,” Wolf said at a news conference. “We want to be able to resume working, going to school, going to church and visiting our loved ones. We want to reopen businesses of all types, and we want to be able to do this with as little risk as possible.”

The corps will not be a replacement for everyday hygiene, masks and social distancing, Wolf said, and will not replace health care workers, but will allow the state “to build a program to allow our commonwealth to function as much as possible while we wait for a vaccine.”