Johns Hopkins offers free online course for contact tracing

BALTIMORE -- Health departments often do contact tracing, but never on the scale needed to control the fast-moving coronavirus.

Bloomberg Philanthropies and the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health are offering a free online course.

When a person tests positive, a tracer interviews that person's close contacts, advising them how to quarantine and what to do if they develop symptoms.

All in all, Dr.Crystal Watson, senior scholar at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security, says it takes a good "people person."

"It's really being good at eliciting information from someone, conducting a good interview, gathering that information, and keeping a record of it and keeping that safe - not sharing that with anybody else. Showing a lot of empathy for the people you're speaking with because they may be in a tough position - either having the virus, or they may have been exposed," said Watson.
Delaware has already begun training National Guard members for this role.

But many communities will hire civilian tracers too.

People with experience in customer service, retailing, or hospitality may find new jobs doing this.

To learn more about the course, or to enroll, CLICK HERE.