What Next

A Contact Tracer on Her Overwhelming Job

“What scares me is what are we going to be left with?”


Episode Notes

North Dakota has the highest COVID-19 case rate in the country. As infections spiked, contact tracers struggled to keep up. Eventually, their bosses told them to stop trying.

Guest: Kailee Leingang, a nursing student and contact tracer in Grand Forks, North Dakota.

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Podcast production by Mary Wilson, Danielle Hewitt, and Elena Schwartz, with help from Frannie Kelley.


About the Show

The problem with the news right now? It’s everywhere. And each day, it can feel like we’re all just mindlessly scrolling. It’s why we created What Next. This short daily show is here to help you make sense of things. When the news feels overwhelming, we’re here to help you answer: What next? Look for new episodes every weekday morning.

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  • Mary Harris is the host and managing editor of What Next, Slate's new daily news podcast. She has reported throughout the public radio system, for NPR, Marketplace, and WNYC.