Contact tracers are needed to stop spread of COVID-19. But what does that mean?

A key requirement when it comes to reopening the region is securing hundreds of contact tracers to slow the spread of COVID-19.

News 12 Staff

May 13, 2020, 12:11 AM

Updated 1,472 days ago

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A key requirement when it comes to reopening the region is securing hundreds of contact tracers to slow the spread of COVID-19.

New York state is on the search to hire contact tracers. Their goal is to notify those who have been exposed to the coronavirus and map their exposure to other people.

More than 500 contact tracers are needed in the Hudson Valley region alone.

Westchester County is looking for about 300, Orange County needs 114, Rockland County needs 100;, Dutchess County needs 90 and Putnam County is looking for about 30.

Contact tracing isn't new. In fact, Andrew Evans has been doing it for decades as the coordinator of communicable disease in Dutchess County.

"When we tell that person that they were exposed, what you do is you educate them about the disease, tell them about what that means to them and tell them what they need to do to prevent further spread to other people, like they would probably have them isolate or quarantine, for example," said Evans.

Mid-Hudson valley residents can join that cause right from home.

Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health just launched a free online training course. The five-hour program is available for anyone looking to help stop the spread of the virus by learning the basics of the job.

Each county is responsible for providing 30 contact tracers per 100,000 residents. If counties cannot provide this, the state will step in to support county health departments.


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