The Association of State and Territorial Health Officials (ASTHO) and National Coalition of STD Directors (NCSD) said the agencies have trained over 10,000 individuals nationwide in COVID-19 contact tracing.
The effort seeks to support ongoing state and local public health agencies in preparing new contact tracers in identifying COVID-19 positive cases and those with whom they have been in close contact. ASTHO and NCSD have joined other national public health agencies in encouraging an immediate hire of at least 100,000 contact tracers and 10,000 Disease Intervention Specialists to meet the COVID-19 contact tracing need while also rebuilding the American workforce.
“We are thrilled by the overwhelming response from so many individuals across the country who want to be part of the COVID-19 contact tracing efforts happening in their communities,” Michael Fraser, CEO of ASTHO, said. “Contact tracing is critical to our nation’s COVID-19 response, and we know that this course will continue to supplement the efforts underway in cities and states to quickly on-board new contact tracers and help meaningfully bend the curve of COVID-19 infection.”
NCSD Executive Director David C. Harvey said the program is preparing thousands of new contact tracers to go out into communities to fight the spread of COVID-19 and break the chain of infection.
“Contact tracing has been used for decades to combat infectious disease outbreaks in the U.S. and around the world,” Harvey said. “No matter your professional background, you can be trained to do this work.”