As a community, together we can achieve the goal of expanding this critical infrastructure.
Expanding Case Investigation and Contact Tracing
Case investigation and contact tracing is designed to interrupt chains of transmission by helping to ensure the safe and effective quarantine of potential contacts to slow the spread of the virus throughout our County. This is one containment strategy among many that will allow for far fewer restrictions to be placed on the community. The level of resources needed for this effort is unprecedented, however, and includes not only new technologies and substantial staffing, but also the availability of those critical resources that the community might need in order to safely isolate or quarantine.
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Building on existing protocols and deploying the new technology, Public Health’s current case investigation and contact tracing team has increased its capacity to investigate cases significantly and continues to expand this important infrastructure. Public Health it is rapidly expanding its capacity to conduct detailed case investigation and contact tracing for approximately 50 to 75 new cases per day, with an average of 40 contacts per case.
The number of staff needed to fulfill these roles is substantial. We anticipate that intensive case investigation and contact tracing will need to remain operational for at least a year. To meet this critical need, the County is staffing the Case Investigation and Contact Tracing team with:
- County and other public agency staff who are available to be deployed for at least six months to a year to assist with this effort;
- Community volunteers willing to make a similar commitment; and
- Contracted staff to meet needs not fillable by persons in categories (1) and (2).
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The Case Investigation and Contact Tracing (CICT) team includes three types of positions, with different requirements and responsibilities:
- CICT staff members and volunteers who will maintain a caseload, calling contacts assigned to them, offering isolation and quarantine guidance and resources as needed, and inputting information into an online platform;
- CICT Lead staff members who will perform a lead function for the CICT unit to support case assignment, troubleshooting needs, and communication of issues; and
- CICT Clinicians who will have a medical or clinical background and provide clinical consultation and guidance to the CICT unit.
Together, these positions will provide the support needed to sustain our case investigation and contact tracing activities.
Case Investigation and Contact Tracing Team Members
CICT Team Members call individuals who have tested positive for COVID-19, call potential contacts, enter and manage data, and identify resources needed to ensure appropriate follow up and compliance with isolation and quarantine.
Qualifications and Skills for Case Investigation and Contact Tracing:
- Able to work remotely for at least 24 hours per week, and ideally full-time at 40 hours per week
- Able to work for a minimum of three months, and ideally six months or longer
- Excellent customer service and interpersonal skills
- Strong written and communication skills, with an attention to detail
- Computer proficiency with ability to enter data into web-based systems
- Able to work remotely with reliable internet and a computer
- Ideally, other language capabilities (e.g., Spanish, Vietnamese, Mandarin, and/or Tagalog language)
Contact Tracing Leads
Contact Tracing leads oversee a team of Case Investigation and Contact Tracing staff. A successful candidate will demonstrate a desire and ability to work in a fast-paced environment, have excellent communication skills, and have a strong desire to be a contributing member of a high-energy team working on the frontlines of a critical health crisis.
Qualifications and Skills for Contact Tracing Leads:
- All of the qualifications needed for Contact Tracers, and;
- Completion of a Bachelor’s Degree in any field, OR two years of work experience in a closely related field with preference for one year of work experience as a manager, supervisor, or lead in a project or team
- Ability to lead, train, coordinate, assign, provide direction and review the work of staff
- Research and evaluate work problems and recommend solutions
- Develop and maintain cooperative, effective working relationships with others
Contact Tracing Clinician
Contact Tracing Clinicians provide clinical consultation and guidance to CICT Leads for any COVID-19 clinical questions or concerns elevated by CICT staff; Consultation may be around COVID-19 clinical guidance, questions about isolation & quarantine, questions about test results, or resource referral questions.
Qualifications and Skills for Contact Tracing Clinicians:
- Possession of clinical license such as Registered Nurse, Physician Assistant, M.D.
- Ability to interpret approved clinical guidance
- Communicate via phone to contact tracers and leads
- Ability to maintain accurate and confidential records and prepare clear and concise reports and correspondence
- Write, develop, and update clinical and disease investigation policies and procedures
- Work independently, handling a number of clients/patients simultaneously
- Work remotely
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While Public Health staff leads and provides the core staffing for this effort, we have retained Heluna Health, a not-for-profit organization with extensive experience supporting public health initiatives in partnership with many state and local health jurisdictions, nonprofits, and academic institutions. Heluna Health will support recruitment, training, human resources support, and oversight of a diverse workforce of temporarily reassigned government staff, volunteers, and contracted team members. The assistance provided by Heluna Health will allow the County to mobilize this workforce much more rapidly than would otherwise be possible.
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Joining the Team
To ensure the gains that we have made as a community through sheltering in place are preserved, the County anticipates needing nearly 1,000 full-time equivalent workers to provide active and rapid case investigation and contact tracing. To achieve this goal, our county will need to come together to identify public agency workers, community partners, and volunteers to serve in this critical workforce.
Public and Community Organizations
In addition to the County workforce being redeployed for these efforts, the County is seeking help from governmental and community partners in identifying a large pool of people who can commit to this work.
Team members call individuals who have tested positive for COVID-19, call potential contacts, enter and manage data, and identify resources needed to ensure appropriate follow up and compliance with isolation and quarantine. We are asking you and other partners to identify any individuals that your organization is willing to redeploy to be members of the team we are building. Individuals, with approval of their employer, must be available to serve as a Disaster Service Worker with the County for 24 to 32 hours a week for a minimum of three months, ideally for a minimum of six months.
If you have current employees who may meet these qualifications, and you are willing to reassign them to this effort for at least three months, please contact us at ContactTracing@eoc.sccgov.org for more information.
Individuals Looking to Volunteer for Contact Tracing and Case Investigation
If you are an individual looking to volunteer on our contract tracing team, we are so grateful for your interest! We ask that you complete this survey in order to share with us your relevant experience, abilities, and availability. You will be contacted shortly after completing the form with more information about registering as a volunteer Disaster Service Worker, completing the appropriate paperwork, and receiving the required training to join our contact tracing team. Please note, if you are not eligible for contact tracing specifically, you’re still eligible for other volunteering opportunities throughout the County and may be contacted to assist with other COVID-19 response needs.
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Heluna Health is Hiring
Heluna Health is partnering with the County of Santa Clara to onboard and train our case investigation and contact tracing workforce. If you are interested in applying for a position with Heluna Health, please review their job postings online.
Paid opportunities are currently available for the following positions:
The CDC Foundation Is Hiring
The CDC Foundation is supporting the County of Santa Clara through the hiring of a limited number of contact tracers with bilingual language skills. Click here to view the recruitment.
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