COVID-19, Contact Tracing, and Immigration in California

Community Resources
Public Charge
Publication Date

Contact tracing is a public health program that helps slow the spread of infectious diseases, like COVID-19 (coronavirus). Because COVID-19 is very contagious, many states have implemented contact tracing programs to protect communities from the virus. California launched California Connected, its contact tracing program, in May 2020. This resource, which describes the California Connected program in Q&A format, highlights issues of interest to the immigrant community, including the language competency of contact tracers, the confidentiality of shared personal information, and public charge considerations.

El rastreo de contactos es un programa de salud pública que ayuda a disminuir la propagación de enfermedades contagiosas, como el COVID-19 (coronavirus). Debido a que el COVID-19 es muy contagioso, muchos estados han implementado programas de rastreo de contactos para proteger a las comunidades de la enfermedad. California inició California Conectado (California Connected), su programa de rastreo de contactos, en mayo de 2020. Este recurso, que describe el programa California Conectado en formato de preguntas y respuestas, resalta cuestiones de interés para la comunidad inmigrante, incluida la competencia lingüística de los rastreadores de contactos, la confidencialidad de la información personal compartida, y las consideraciones de carga pública.

On September 9, 2022, DHS published a new rule on public charge that is set to take effect on December 23, 2022. Until then, USCIS is following longstanding guidance from 1999. If litigation is filed against the rule, the effective date may change. Please check the ILRC’s public charge page at for updates. Notwithstanding announcement of the new rule, the information in this resource is current and continues to apply.