Liberty, NY – Sullivan County Public Health Director Nancy McGraw announces that the State of New York has launched a new and urgent effort to curb the spread of COVID-19.
New York State plans to hire a team of 6,400 to 17,000 staff Statewide, depending on the projected number of COVID-19 cases, to support the NYS Department of Health (NYSDOH) and local health departments to perform contact tracing in communities across NYS. To meet the scale and scope of this program, Bloomberg Philanthropies, Vital Strategies: Resolve to Save Lives and the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health will support building the team through a three-step process: recruitment, interviewing and training.
“The aim of this initiative will be to call every person diagnosed with COVID-19, establish all contacts of this person, and proceed to call and maintain ongoing communication with every contact,” McGraw explained, based on guidance from NYSDOH. “In addition, the team will support the isolation and quarantine of individuals, as appropriate, in cooperation with Public Health Services. This includes virtual needs checks and referral to community resources as needed.”
“This contact tracing initiative is in tandem with Statewide efforts to increase testing, improve communication and knowledge of effective strategies to reduce transmission, and implementation of isolation and quarantine,” added District 2 Legislator Nadia Rajsz, who chairs the Legislature’s Health & Family Services Committee. “This will fortify efforts to control the pandemic in NYS.”
The first goal is to help the State identify and recruit a robust Contact Tracing team. To be considered, candidates must be a New York State resident 18 years of age or older; meet the position description requirement; go through an interview process; and complete a training and certification program.
New York State is looking to immediately fill the following paid roles:
• Contact Tracers: reach out to the contacts of anyone diagnosed with COVID-19 to assess symptoms, ensure compliance with quarantine and determine social support needs.
• Team Supervisors: lead a team of 20 Contact Tracers, and one Community Support Specialist who are working remotely using digital tools.
• Community Support Specialists: work with the team and the local health departments to address the physical/mental health and social/human service needs of those contacted, especially those who are under isolation or quarantine.
If you or someone you know in New York State is interested in applying to be a part of the Contact Tracing team, visit https://coronavirus.health.ny.gov/get-involved-how-you-can-help.