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Sun Jul 12, 2020, 12:56 PM

BTRTN: I Am a Contact Tracer

Born To Run The Numbers provides a first hand look into the work of COVID-19 contact tracers, as our Wendy volunteered for the job and is already deeply involved in this vital service.


Excerpts: "It's a job that's been around since before the days of Typhoid Mary, but it's brand new to the common lexicon...I applied for the position last May when Governor Cuomo announced that one metric for re-opening New York State was hiring 30 tracers per 100,000 residents....historically, contact tracing has proven to be a critical factor in containing the spread of disease.
"...the next step which was completion of the six hour Johns Hopkins COVID-19 Contact Tracing course. While I'd been reading voraciously about the virus and considered myself fairly well informed for a lay person, I loved the course! It included information about transmission, incubation periods, symptoms, ethics, and isolating and quarantining...
"Once I was certified, I was hired to join a team to help stem the spread of the virus. Our team consists of roughly 15 contact tracers and a community support specialist who all report to a supervisor; the supervisor ensures that we have seven day a week coverage, 12 hours per day, and troubleshoots issues that arise...
"As contact tracers report back on their experiences with calls and with the software, everything is fine-tuned. I've found it fascinating to watch a new venture evolve and adapt and improve in real time, and the deep well of patience and supportiveness among everyone connected with this process has been an inspiration in a time that feels so divided in almost every other realm...Once, a contact and I found a reason to laugh together. And on one occasion, a contact's situation brought me to tears. On that one, I waited until we ended the call but then I gave myself a moment to weep before dialing the next person on my list..."

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