Around the country, medical students and doctors-in-training are joining the COVID fight by becoming volunteer Contact Tracers. Many teams are being set up at different institutions to meet the needs of Public Health Agencies.
Contact tracers identify persons who may have had contact with an infected person and collect further information from these individuals in order to prevent further spread of the infection. This can be done virtually from the comfort of your home. Various mobile phone applications and protocols are being developed in order to facilitate this initiative. Historically, contact tracing has been used for communicable diseases, and to help eradicate Small Pox. The CDC provides trainings, digital tools, and guidance on current contact tracing initiatives.
Larkin Community Hospital located in South Florida (where many AUC students complete their clinical rotations) is an example of an institution in the Contact tracing COVID-19 fight, actively seeking volunteers from all walks of life. As a volunteer, you are asked to take a free entry level course which requires a couple of hours, and sign a confidentiality form. Volunteers are then instructed on how to use the COVID fighter app which was developed by the institution, before they can begin their role as a CTS. This project is in an early phase, and any volunteer that joins will be able to provide feedback on their mobile application which also aims to track plasma donation requirements.
There are also various employers currently hiring contact tracers for different State Department of Health. This includes entry-level jobs and supervisory roles. As an example, The New Mexico Department of Health and the State Personnel Office put out a Press Room message on May 22, which stated that the state was seeking applicants for contact tracing jobs. Also, in a recent press release, the Chicago Mayor announced that 56 million dollars would be going to a request for a proposal to expand contact tracing in Chicago.
Whether you are looking to volunteer a few hours of your time, or for employment opportunities post-graduation, contacting tracing is an area where Doctor’s-in-Training may play a vital role in stopping community spread of COVID-19.
New Mexico Dept. of Health: https://cv.nmhealth.org/2020/05/22/state-seeks-applicants-for-contact-tracing-jobs/
Larking Hospital application: https://covidfighterapp.com/#/