University of Utah Division of Public Health Partners with UDOH to Trace COVID-19 contacts
May 28, 2020 9:00 AM
The Division of Public Health at the University of Utah announced that they are partnering with the Utah Department of Health to train and field 100 or more workers as contact tracers. These workers will join the State’s effort to conduct contact tracing of those who test positive for COVID-19 and active monitoring of individuals who may have had contact with a COVID-19 positive individual.
“As we start to open society and get back out there, there’s going to be more cases and a lot more contacts, so even while many people may feel that we’re on the downslope of this, the epidemiological work is on the upswing,” said Dr. Sharon Talboys, Assistant Professor of Public Health and director of the project. “With this program we’re filling a big need and are proud to be part of that effort.”
Those hired to the program will receive training in State- and CDC-approved measures for contract tracers. The program is expected to have these new contact tracers fully trained and deployed within a week. “Testing, contact tracing, and monitoring those who have had contact with someone who has the SARS-CoV-2 virus is a key element of keeping our state safe,” said Dr. Kimberley Shoaf, Professor of Public Health, who specializes in public health emergencies and is co-directing the project with Dr. Talboys. “To do this well, we need a cadre of well-trained individuals who can communicate with the public and maintain the confidentiality of the information they receive.”