COVID-19 Contact Tracing and Case Investigation Training

Summary: This project provides training for teams in 15 states and territories who in turn train workers to conduct COVID-19 contact tracing and case investigation to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Opportunity: COVID-19 has wreaked havoc across the world. Because COVID-19 is highly infectious, identification of people who have been in close contact to individuals diagnosed with COVID-19 is an important step in preventing infection. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) created a national Contact Tracing Initiative to build a well-trained public health COVID-19 contact tracing workforce, including case investigators, contact tracers, and contact tracing supervisors.

Initiative: CAI provides live, online instructor-led training programs for public health leaders and workers in the northeast region, which includes Vermont, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Delaware, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Connecticut, Virginia, Washington D.C., Maryland, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Utilizing the CDC’s curricula, we build states’ and territories’ capacity to provide contact tracing and case investigation trainings across the region. We currently have a faculty of 17 professionals providing training. CAI provides the training faculty for each course, develops the training calendars, provides the courses, monitors trainers’ performance, attends all quality-control activities, and provides support for the New York State Department of Health’s training coordination.

Impact: This program is helping enhance the response to COVID-19 in the northeast. In the first several months of this initiative, CAI provided 14 contact tracing courses attended by 223 participants and 14 case investigation courses attended by 217 participants. These trainings are helping mobilize a dedicated workforce, through a standard set of skills and knowledge, to support public health systems across the northeast. Additionally, the model developed for this program can be leveraged to build a skilled public health workforce that can reduce the spread of future virulent health threats.

Project funder and key partners: CAI serves as a training subcontractor to the New York State Department of Health AIDS Institute, National Network of Disease Intervention Training Centers.

Project contact: Tony Jimenez, MD, Vice President and Contact Tracing Initiative Project Director.