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Johns Hopkins University

COVID-19 Contact Tracing

Johns Hopkins University via Coursera


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)

Taught by

Emily Gurley


4.8 rating, based on 14 Class Central reviews

4.9 rating at Coursera based on 93070 ratings

Start your review of COVID-19 Contact Tracing

  • Very informative and (mostly) comprehensive. Although I'm not a contact tracer, I learned a lot about covid-19 from this course and I was able to shake off some misinformations.
  • Concise and excellently prepared and delivered! This is a practical training course for anyone interested to contribute to the pandemic effort as a contact tracer.
  • Profile image for Hector Cammock
    Hector Cammock

    Hector Cammock completed this course.

    Awesome. I t was totally worth the time. I am grateful for the certification. Would recommend to anyone who has an interest in learning more about COVID-19 Contact Tracing.
  • Bashaboina Vakula
    Contact tracing is the process of identifying all people that a COVID-19 patient has come in contact with in the last two weeks.
    Contact tracing can break the chains of transmission through the rapid identification, isolation and clinical care of cases, and providing supported quarantine of contacts, meaning that virus transmission can be stopped.
    Effective, rapid contact tracing is the cornerstone of an effective public health response in outbreaks. Its success depends on quickly identifying cases, gathering information from them about their last contacts, and tracing and isolating those contacts.
  • Anonymous
    This course keeps me running to complete my lessons the videos and the lectures peaks my interest got me telling others

    Mrs Gurley shoes us the right way and the incorrect way to approach a client .She instructed us about the 5 types of questions that we should or should not use .This course is very interesting.
  • Anonymous
    I would be grateful to join this program. Am a fast learner with ambitious dreams am willing to learn an also am I work hard
  • Profile image for Joan Kalil
    Joan Kalil
    I would recommend this class to everyone. The learning experience excellent. I enjoyed it very much learned a lot I'm looking forward to more courses like this. Dr. Emily Guirley made it so interesting thank you
  • Profile image for Marshal Lakukua
    Marshal Lakukua
    The learning material is easy to understand, short, dense, clear. Can add to my insight for my future later. The knowledge that I got from this material was very useful for me.
  • Ibrahim Alrashid is taking this course right now, spending 5 hours a week on it and found the course difficulty to be very easy.

    The lecture is very important and very simple to most people to prevent and how treated with positive cases. Covid2019 is presistance viruse and polymorphic coat and hilgly affinity with RBCs and ACE2 and cause death , therefore the prevention is very important to people
  • Akhror Kayumov
    COVID-19 Contact Tracing Contact tracing is an important tool to help stop the spread of COVID-19. Contact tracing is an important tool to help diagnose people who may have COVID-19 sooner and...
  • Umesh Kumar Sharma completed this course, spending 2 hours a week on it and found the course difficulty to be medium.

    I am in kiran hospital in as a OT incharge. Last working days since 11 months. and my department very good . and my staff very sincere.
  • Anonymous

    Anonymous is taking this course right now.

    The teacher is excellent , she is well paced and explaining clearly .Makes it easy for the student to digest and understand .
  • Profile image for Awawu Apete
    Awawu Apete
    It is a lovely course, it gives me more knowledge about What COVID 19 is and I now learnt more on how to explain it to people and I really appreciate the opportunity given to me.Thanks
  • Frank Muzumara
    The course was so amazing and i enjoyed studing with the university , in the near future i would like to study more and aquire more knowledge.

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