The COVID-19 crisis has created an unprecedented need for contact tracing across the country, requiring thousands of people to learn key skills quickly. The job qualifications for contact tracing positions differ throughout the country and the world, with some new positions open to individuals with a high school diploma or equivalent.
In this introductory course, students will learn about the science of SARS-CoV-2 , including the infectious period, the clinical presentation of COVID-19, and the evidence for how SARS-CoV-2 is transmitted from person-to-person and why contact tracing can be such an effective public health intervention. Students will learn about how contact tracing is done, including how to build rapport with cases, identify their contacts, and support both cases and their contacts to stop transmission in their communities. The course will also cover several important ethical considerations around contact tracing, isolation, and quarantine. Finally, the course will identify some of the most common barriers to contact tracing efforts -- along with strategies to overcome them.
Basics of COVID-19
-In this first module, we'll dig into the science of COVID-19, including what we know about its origins, clinical signs and symptoms, risk factors, diagnosis, transmission, and infectious period.
Basics of Contact Tracing for COVID-19
-Now that you've learned about the basics of COVID-19, we'll turn our attention to some of the tools being used to stop the spread: contact tracing, isolation, and quarantine. We'll also show you how what you've already learned about infection and transmission informs the use of these critical public health tools.
Steps to Investigate Cases and Trace Their Contacts
-In this module, we'll walk through the steps of the contact tracing process and provide examples. You'll also get to watch demonstrations of basic interactions with a case and and a contact.
Ethics of Contact Tracing and Technological Tools
-In this module, you'll learn about the important ethical dimensions of contract tracing, including how we balance the protection of the public's health with limits on personal privacy and autonomy. We'll walk through some specific examples to prepare you for some of the issues contact tracers encounter during the course of their work.
Skills for Effective Communication
-Effective communication is the cornerstone of a successful contact tracing interaction. That includes building rapport with cases and contacts, active listening, and asking the right kinds of questions. In this module, you'll watch and read several example interactions that demonstrate both how and how not to conduct yourself as a contact tracer.
Final Assessment (Graded)