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Topics for Contact Tracers

Topics for Contact Tracers

Contact Tracing Training Plan

Updated June 22, 2020

Background: This document contains a sample training plan including training topics that may be helpful for state and local public health jurisdictions to consider when designing their own training plan for COVID-19 contact tracers. Each heading represents the learning objective for that section. Suggested training modalities/formats are provided, as well as information about sample existing trainings and resources. This document may be updated as new resources become available. For the purposes of this document, contact tracers are those who notify close contacts of COVID-19 patients of their exposures.

Overall Training Goal: After completing all training below, learners should be able to conduct contact tracing according to the established protocol.   

Target Audience: Community health workers or volunteers with little or no experience conducting contact tracing.

Identify strategies to reduce spread of COVID-19

  • Background on COVID-19
    • General
    • Epidemiology and surveillance principles
    • Update on current emergency response
  • COVID-19 disease-specific information
    • Signs/symptoms
    • Incubation period and infectious period
    • Testing
    • Diagnosis and current management
    • Prevention and control (including self-isolation for patients and self-quarantine for contacts)
  • Ways to prevent spread of COVID-19
    • General precautions
    • Role of public health, case investigation, and contact tracing
    • Other ways to reduce spread

View Strategies to Reduce Spread chevron circle right solid icon

Identify the primary components of COVID-19 contact tracing

  • Introduction to U.S. public health system and how contact tracing fits in
    • General
  • Relevant terminology
    • Public health jurisdiction’s contact tracing terminology
    • Terms that may be used in other jurisdictions
  • Introduction to contract tracing
    • General
    • Define contact tracing
    • Describe basic steps of contract tracing
      • Test
      • Investigation and elicitation
      • Quarantine or isolate
      • Follow-up
    • Describe skills and qualities necessary for contact tracers
      • Motivational interviewing skills
      • Risk communication skills
      • Cultural sensitivity
      • Adaptations for contacts with communication impairments and non-English speakers

View Primary Components of Contact Tracing chevron circle right solid icon

List requirements for protecting health information

  • Overview of health information privacy/security
  • Health information privacy and confidentiality
  • Health information data security
  • Ethics of data collection during an outbreak

View Protecting Health Information chevron circle right solid icon

Describe COVID-19 contact tracing protocol

  • Describe in detail the actions and requirements
  • Learn what “a day in the life” of a contact tracer
  • Question-and-answer session

View Contact Tracing Protocol chevron circle right solid icon

Apply COVID-19 online knowledge and contact tracing protocol to realistic scenarios

  • Review contact tracing protocol
  • Apply contact tracing protocol to the following scenarios:
    • Recent contact with someone diagnosed with COVID-19 but no signs/symptoms
    • Recent contact with someone diagnosed with COVID-19 with signs/symptoms
    • Someone with signs and symptoms of COVID-19 with no history of ill contacts
    • Feedback from trainer(s)/facilitator(s)
  • Practice handling difficult calls

View Contact Tracing Scenarios chevron circle right solid icon

Identify jurisdiction-specific contact tracing tools and protocols

  • Receiving assignments
  • Documenting calls
    • Specifics of local processes and data collection
  • Working with non-English-speaking contacts
  • Working with contacts who have communication-impairments
  • Follow-up resources for contacts
  • Discussion of how contact tracers should share insights

View Jurisdiction-Specific Contact Tracing Tools chevron circle right solid icon

Analyze contact tracing encounters for continuous quality improvement

  • Listening in on calls
  • Using a rubric
  • Follow-up discussion

View Continuous Quality Improvement for Contact Tracers chevron circle right solid icon

For Contact Tracers
lesson plan thumbnail image

View or print all learning objectives and courses for the contact tracer sample training plan.

View Contact Tracer Sample Training Plan pdf icon[PDF - 23 pages]