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Johns Hopkins launches free online course to train army of contact tracers to slow spread of COVID-19 | Hub

Full story at Source: >Johns Hopkins launches online course to train army of contact tracers to slow spread of COVID-19 | Hub

(Note when you register, selecting the Free option will apply the promotional code discount at the final checkout page of the registration)

“A new Coursera class developed by the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health is now available to train contact tracers on the principles of the public health strategy many consider critical for slowing the spread of COVID-19. The free six-hour course is open to anyone, but taking and passing it will be a requirement for thousands of contact tracers being hired by the state of New York to fight the pandemic.

“Contact Tracing” is available for free to anyone in the world via CourseraA long-used public health strategy, contact tracing aims to break the chain of transmission of infectious diseases. The Coursera class, “COVID-19 Contact Tracing,” teaches the basics of interviewing people diagnosed with the virus, identifying their close contacts who might have been exposed, and providing them guidance for self-quarantine for two weeks.

Even if you stop one or two new infections, you’re preventing many new cases down the line,” Johns Hopkins infectious disease epidemiologist Emily Gurley, the lead instructor of the course, said during a press briefing today. The course is part of ambitious push for contact tracing backed by New York Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo and Michael R. Bloomberg,

“Contact tracing allows us to communicate with people infected with COVID-19, identify those who may have been exposed, and provide all of them with guidance to limit the spread of the disease,” Bloomberg said in a release. “This new training course, which we’re making available online for free, will teach contact tracers how to do this work effectively—and help cities and states across the nation undertake these critical efforts.

“Across the nation, an estimated workforce of 100,000 could be required to help limit the spread of COVID-19 and safely reopen the economy, according to a recent report by the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security.

What It Takes To Be A Contact Tracer : NPR Do you have empathy? Welcome to the new economy


Riding the Tidal Wave of the Coming Public Health Economy

5 min podcast >A Day In The Life Of A Coronavirus Contact Tracer

Are the US and state governments being dragged kicking and screaming into an unprecedented massive investment for contact tracing? As governments extol the quick recovery from the virus pandemic, experts keep talking of repeating infection waves since our fragmented bureaucracy cannot get a handle what the virus is really doing in this country until massive resources are committed to tracking it down. Fighting over costs will be swept away into absolute submission and a new economy. Other countries and a few States are leading the way. Watch for new remote and compassionate footwork jobs to start appearing. Contract tracing needs empathy. Everyone is frightened when contacted. — DH

“NPR’s Michel Martin speaks with John Welch, the director of partnerships & operations for Massachusetts’ COVID-19 response at Partners In Health, about their contact tracing program and training.

“Public health experts say that one of the keys to safely lifting stay-at-home orders around the country is contact tracing. So we wanted to spend some time now learning more about what it takes to implement a statewide contact tracing program and how people are being trained for this…

“It is exactly as you described it, a ramp-up at this stage, a lot of quick hiring and, you know, in-depth training and making sure we have the right people who have the right skills but then most importantly people who have the patience and the empathy to listen. They’re reaching out to people who are in crisis and some people who are in acute crisis sort of superimposed on a chronic crisis of maybe poverty or marginalization.

“And those individuals need extra time and not only need it – they deserve it. So these contact tracers are balancing the need for understanding how to do the work while also just being a gentle ear…You know, first and foremost, we’re very sensitive to a variety of populations who might not be interested in anyone who’s sort of affiliated with state government reaching out to them.

“And we’re very sensitive to that and want all those individuals to know that this is a public health activity, that their information is very safe with us and that our interest is in helping them and keeping their families and friends safe.But then the folks who we do get in touch with are actually by and large relieved, you know.

We live in a world now, in this country where to receive health care, you’ve got to go and find it. And this activity is care coming to find you. So while contact tracing is an important epidemiological tool, it’s also an act of caring. And I think by and large people are really relieved to receive that phone call.

6 minute podcast and Continue reading much more of the interview at Source: >What It Takes To Be A Contact Tracer : NPR

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4 minute podcast, some excerpt below and much more at >We Asked All 50 States About Their Contact Tracing Capacity. Here’s What We Learned :
“We are investigating the relentless math of containing the pandemic. The next phase of fighting the coronavirus leans heavily on contact tracing. And numbers will measure the result. How many people have tested positive? How many people have they recently contacted? And how quickly can those people be quarantined?

“To establish those numbers, the United States needs a very large workforce of people to do contact tracing. Are we hiring enough people? NPR’s Selena Simmons-Duffin has spent the last week putting that question to officials in every single state, along with Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia. And she’s on the line. Selena, good morning.

SELENA SIMMONS-DUFFIN, BYLINE: Good morning, Steve.

INSKEEP: What’d you find?

SIMMONS-DUFFIN: So we were able to get data from 41 states. And the total they currently have added up to 7,300. Most states said they were planning a hiring surge. And after that, we will have 35,600. This is a snapshot from the past week. And a lot is in flux. But that’s our best estimate for what’s planned, more than 35,000 contact tracers nationally.

INSKEEP: Which sounds like a lot. But is that enough?

SIMMONS-DUFFIN: The short answer is not even close. Yesterday on the show, you had some influential former officials saying the country needs 180,000 total. Other estimates have put the number needed at 100,000. Here’s what Tom Frieden, former CDC director, told me about the totals we found.

TOM FRIEDEN: It’s a start. I think an increasing number of health departments around the country recognize the need to substantially scale up activities.

Thousands of New Jobs: ‘We need an army’: Hiring of coronavirus trackers is likely set to soar

>How Contact Tracing Works And How It Can Help Reopen The Country

(I believe there will also be huge opportunities to work from home on the phone and online as part of the contact tracing teams — DH)

“Massachusetts is launching a statewide effort, hiring 1,000 contact tracers in partnership with Partners In Health, an international health nonprofit with experience in the developing world. Qualifications include a high school diploma or equivalent, the ability to speak and write in English, and the “ability to show empathy to distressed individuals.” San Francisco has also been scaling up its contact tracing workforce.

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“K.J. Seung is surprised to be hiring and training new workers in Boston.His public health nonprofit, Partners in Health, specializes in helping the poorest people in developing nations — tracking down contacts of Ebola patients in Liberia and Sierra Leone; running child health and HIV clinics in Haiti; and operating tuberculosis control programs in Peru.

“But now it is advertising for 500 people to help do what’s known as contact tracing to try to control Covid-19 in Massachusetts. It’s the first step in the next stage of fighting the pandemic. Boston-based Partners in Health has trained 12,000 community health workers in countries including Malawi, Mexico, and Rwanda and now it will help train a battalion of workers in Massachusetts to interview everyone diagnosed with Covid-19 and find other people who may have been infected by them.

“New digital tools could help. Combined with more widespread testing, contact tracing is seen as an essential part of the strategy for keeping the coronavirus in check after the first wave recedes and the economy reopens. But the work is highly labor-intensive, and public health departments across the U.S. have been woefully underfunded for years.

“This is going to test the capacity of the existing public health system,” said Marcus Plescia, chief medical officer of the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials. “I don’t know if we have enough staff in public health departments to do that.” Hence the hiring spree kicking off in Massachusetts and a few other places.Partners in Health is working with state officials in Massachusetts, who say they will eventually deploy nearly 1,000 people to do contact tracing.

Read full story at Source: >’We need an army’: Hiring of coronavirus trackers is likely set to soar