Train for Free with the Johns Hopkins Contact Tracing Class You Can Complete at Home
Contact Tracing training is starting through an online course available now through the Coursera learning platform. The class will prepare a new workforce to help mitigate COVID-19 by finding people who may not realize they have been infected. Contact tracing will allow parts of the country to be reopened by only quarantining those who are possibly infected or sick. Students will be introduced to the public health system and how this work fits in.
The training is totally free of charge and 100 percent of the training can be completed online. The new contact tracing class is an effort courtesy of Bloomberg Philanthropies and offered through the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Health.
What is Contact Tracing?
Contact tracers identify people who have crossed paths with COVID-19-positive people. They help track and prevent the spread of infection. A novel coronavirus (CoV), not been previously seen in humans, was identified in late 2019 in Wuhan, China.
This is a strategy that’s been proven to work in other countries, including China, South Korea, and Germany.
Contact tracing also involves the use of mass surveillance mobile applications to track people’s movements. Countries around the world are scrambling to develop an app that tacks people who have come into contact with each other while still maintaining privacy. This has raised all sorts of privacy and ethical concerns weighing public health versus individual privacy rights. Tech giants Google and Apple are both deeply involved in contact tracing app development. Policies vary from country to country over who will store and access the tracking data as well as how long it will persist.
What Does a Contact Tracer Do?
Contact tracers are responsible for interviewing a patient to identify who they may have been in contact with during their illness and incubation period. They are hired by state agencies to call anyone who came into contact with another person who has been diagnosed with COVID-19. When the tracers call, they are expected to conduct a symptom check and possibly refer them to testing center. The job requires good communication skills.
The tracer will inform the contact they have been exposed to COVID-19 but not reveal who it is. They also provide person with instructions on how to quarantine themselves.
What Do Contact Tracers Need to Know?
Contact tracing students will get and introduction to US public health system and how contact tracing fits into a solution. They will need skills for effective communication and to understand the signs and symptoms of the disease.
- Describe the natural history of SARS-CoV-2
- Understand Signs/symptoms
- Steps of the contact tracing process
- Define an infectious contact and timeline for public health intervention
- Basics of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)
Training includes the history of COVID-19 as well as some basic epidemiology.
The online course being offered by Johns Hopkins University teaches students how to become contact tracers. Training is free and can lead to a job with any number of states when contact tracing is deployed. The class is tailored for students who are community health workers or volunteers with little or no experience conducting contact tracing or healthcare. After completing the course, students will be able to work as a contact tracer according to your agency’s established protocol.
Johns Hopkins is offering this five-hour class to train people to contact and interview anyone who has come into contact with a person who has been diagnosed with COVID-19.
According to a survey by National Public Radio (NPR), 44 states and the District of Columbia have plans to hire contact tracers. Over 66,000 jobs are expected to be available. The jobs pay anywhere from $17 to $22 per hours and may include benefits.
Try More COVID-19 Related Training
- Mind Control: Managing Your Mental Health During COVID-19
- COVID-19 – A clinical update
- Lecture Series for Preventing and Controlling COVID-19
- Fighting COVID-19 with Epidemiology: A Johns Hopkins Teach-Out
- Law in the Time of COVID-19: A Northwestern Teach-Out
How Can I Get a Job as Contact Tracer?
Both New York and New Jersey are already recruiting for future contact tracing workers. These may be full-time positions.
To register for New Jersey contact tracing job visit https://covid19.nj.gov/forms/tracer
New York State (NYS) plans to hire 6,400 to 17,000 Tracers Statewide. Contact tracing is done remotely and pays up to $22 per hour. Employees must call and interview all of the contacts of someone who has been diagnosed with COVID-19. To see more details visit the NYS website
Michelle writes about cyber security, data privacy focusing on social media privacy as well as how to protect your IoT devices. She has worked in internet technology for over 20 years and owns METRONY, LLC. Michelle earned a B.S. in Engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. Michelle published a guide to Cyber Security for Business Travelers