Biggest words in employment right now: contact tracing

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- Contact tracing is the newest buzz word on the job market right now.

You may have heard that federal, state and local governments are looking to hire thousands with this title.

But what exactly is a contact tracer?

It's a person who works on the front lines sourcing who has or may have been exposed to a patient with the coronavirus.

"I would just encourage people to get involved, it is a great way to get involved and help us flatten the curve," said Tom Connolly, CEO GATTIHR.

Connolly recently set up an organization in Massachusetts with 2,000 contact tracers.

So what does a contact tracer do? They work directly with a case investigator who has identified a COVID-19 positive patient.

"The case investigator gives that information to a contact tracer who then gets on the phone and is responsible for contacting everyone who is in that contact vector," he said.

That means anyone the initial patient may have come in contact with. They then give them the resources they might need to quarantine.
Since these are sensitive discussions, Connolly said you must have a certain skill set.

"The big things are empathy, resilience, perseverance. You're talking to people who are stressed a little bit who would just need someone to guide them through the process," he said.

People Connolly said are a good fit are anyone in healthcare, but also college students, restaurant workers, bartenders, and those working in customer service.

"We find that there are people in other professions with good listening professions that can do this very well," he said.

Connolly believes contact tracers will be around for a while. In fact, a few job postings we found have a minimum requirement of at least a year.

As for the salary, Connolly said many can be making 20 to 30 dollars an hour. Training only takes about five days.

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