Coronavirus Containment: Contact tracing is key

U.S. & World

(NBC News) As recreation areas, restaurants and stores reopen health departments are working on implementing new strategies to manage the coronavirus pandemic.

That includes recruiting an army of contact tracers.
 
Contact tracers work with someone who’s tested positive to identify the people they’ve interacted with.

Tracers then reach out to those individuals, usually by phone, and ask them to quarantine for 14 days. 
 
“If those contacted are indeed infected, then they’re not out spreading the virus and we’re breaking trains of transmission there,” explains Dr. Crystal Watson of the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security.
 
Johns Hopkins estimates the country will need 100,000 contact tracers.

It’s a job well-suited to retired healthcare workers and public health students, and also those who’ve lost jobs due to the pandemic.

The Center is providing a free online training course.  
 
“It gives people a chance for employment as well as a chance for a feeling of efficacy in response to this pandemic,” Dr. Watson says.

To learn more about that free contact tracing training course, click here.

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