100k Contact Tracers needed nationwide

Last updated: April 23, 2024
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Lenin Pina
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100k Contact Tracers needed nationwide
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There’s an urgent call for thousands of new contact tracers to join the national effort to help combat the coronavirus pandemic across the US. According to health experts, a well planned and executed contact tracing practices has helped contain or stop the spread of similar worldwide outbreaks like SARS and Ebola in the past but with signs of a second outbreak phase of COVID-19 growing within the US there’s never been a more crucial time for effective detective work than right now.

Without contact tracers we're going to be at risk of resurgence of this disease -- not just in the fall, but going into next year

Josh Michaud, Associate Director of Global Health Policy at the Kaiser Family Foundation

Health organizations and state health agencies have been recruiting contact tracers since the onset of the pandemic last spring but experts fear the recruiting numbers achieved so far just might not be enough to successful combat and contain the virus. The US needs at least 100,000 or more public health workers to help with contact tracing according to a recent study released by Johns Hopkins University.

Contact tracing isn’t a vaccine but it helps to contain the spread of the virus while a vaccine gets created according to health experts. Ongoing contact tracing efforts are already showing signs that this prevention tactic is going to be a tough sell in the US. Questions around additional quarantine time away from family friends and jobs are raising legitimate concerns among those who may have been exposed to the virus. Peoples right to shop, drink, worship when and where they want and wear masks have become political statements.

It’s a mixed bag. You never know what you’re going to get. Sometimes you have people who are really appreciative but other times, you might have a client who slams the door.

Joseph Ortiz, Contact Tracer in NYC

In order to clear up some of the myths and concerns around contact tracing we designed a brief question and answer outline to better inform laid off, furloughed and/or unemployed job seekers who might be interested in pursuing contact tracing employment opportunities in their communities.

What exactly is contact tracing?

Contact tracing is the tracking down of infected people, and then finding everyone who has been near them and encouraging them to self-isolate at home. People at risk of exposure are provided with education, information, and support to understand their risk, what they should do to separate themselves from others who are not exposed, monitor themselves for illness, and the possibility that they could spread the infection to others even if they themselves do not feel ill.

If investigators find people with symptoms, they may ask them to self-quarantine for two weeks and provide a rundown of contacts. People without symptoms may also be asked to self-quarantine and may be monitored to see if they remain symptom-free.

What does the position involve?

Contact tracers use a variety of methods, including phone calls, emails, social media messaging and web-based client resource management (CRM) platform to call all contacts of anyone diagnosed with COVID-19. Contact tracers document a symptom check then refer at risk contacts to testing sites according to established protocols and provide them with instructions for quarantine.

Contact Tracers are required to follow all scripts, policies and procedures provided by the hiring organization, and comply with Department of Public Health training regarding confidential information related to personal information.

Is a healthcare background or special certification needed to be a contact tracer?

Different state or local health departments might have different requirements to qualify for these job opportunities but generally anyone with a passion for service can be trained to perform this work.

How much do contact tracers get paid?

The Pay Rate for contact tracers, who are largely recruited by state and local governments, is roughly $17 to $25 per hour depending on the location and qualification requirements.

Are these work from home positions?

Yes. Current contact tracer job are full-time work from home employment opportunities but may transition into on location office roles in the future. Carefully read and review all the job information listed on the job descriptions before you apply.

Does contact tracing actually help?

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, (CDC) contact tracing slows the spread of COVID-19 by letting people know they may have been exposed to COVID-19 and should monitor their health for signs and symptoms of COVID-19. Helping people who may have been exposed to COVID-19 get tested and asking people to self-isolate if they have COVID-19 or self-quarantine if they are a close contact.

The benefits of contact tracing are, if done correctly, it is a thorough process that helps identify and quarantine exposed individuals so they cannot then transmit the virus to others; it breaks the chains of transmission.

Diana Cervantes, MS, DrPH, CPH, CIC, Assistant Professor at the University of North Texas Health Science Center

Where can I find and apply for contact tracer job opportunities in my community?

Contrace has been leading the nationwide contact tracing recruiting and hiring effort since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic. Contrace is still accepting applications HERE.

You can also search for local government and health agency contact tracing employment opportunities using the job search tools on Jobcase. Simply click on the Jobs link at the top of the page and enter Contact Tracer in the Job Title and Keyword field along with your zip code or city/state information. Doing this will launch a query and generate a list of immediate hiring opportunities in your community.


What’s your point of view on contact tracing? Comment below!

A. Yes, I agree that contact tracing will help contain the spread of COVID-19 if properly executed.

B. No, I don’t agree with the investigative practices associates with contact tracing

C. Undecided

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Sylvia Wellington
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Receptionist at Life Aid Medical And Heart Rhythm Cpr

Yes I agree with Contact Tracing. I love to help people.

1y
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Sylvia Wellington
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Receptionist at Life Aid Medical And Heart Rhythm Cpr

Hello My name is Sylvia Wellington and I am very interested in being an contact tracer. I have experience with this kind of work and would love to work in the evenings. Please let me know more about the job and how to apply. You can reach me by phone at (615) 474-8293, anytime after 3:30, by text or email at tysylnell@gmail.com at anytime. Thanks

1y
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Denise Stathatos
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Sales Associate at Jc Penney

In NYS it was a temporary part time job that ended recently. If the variants start picking up cases, the demand for the job will probably end shortly.

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Deborah Gerber
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School Library Media Specialist at Stamford Public Schools

A

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Cindy Blanton
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Truck Driver at V 3

Yes,it does help,if more people understood how and why,then they would agree.

3y
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Gloria Mince
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Software Developer Qa Assistant at Laser Light Technologies

I think contact tracers could be very beneficial. It has been done with sexually transmitted diseases. The more knowledge about anything the stronger you are in knowledge of possible contact the quicker the info. Is given the less likely of Contiuing the spread

4y
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Trena Dakarai
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Environmental Services at Tacoma General

Yes. We need to trace all that we can to keep us from another huge outbreak

4y
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Robert Taylor
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security

A of course. We have to work inside our community Set example Showing concern and letting people know that we are out there trying to make the Difference .This must be controlled its up to us to work together. I served my country as Chemical Specialists in the Army I believe I have something to offer. Thank u

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John Judge
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A. Yes, I agree that contact tracing will help contain the spread of COVID-19 if properly executed.

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Victor Castro
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Contact tracing for a so called virus that kills less people than the seasonal flu. Could Contact tracing be used for nefarious purposes?

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