contact tracers

Wikipedia Commons

Illinois has devoted more than $230 million across every county in the state for COVID-19 contact tracing.

Wikipedia Commons

Randall Jeffay was one of the millions of Americans laid off due to the COVID-19 pandemic. He needed work, but he’s also at high-risk. 

“I’m 61 years old,” he said. “I’m actually a renal transplant recipient, so I have a suppressed immune system.” 

Going out in public or to an office was out of the question. But then he stumbled onto an article about Illinois community colleges offering courses to become a contact tracer from home.

Contact tracing is kind of like being a COVID-19 detective. That’s what Kathy Cabai says. She’s a professor at College of DuPage and is coordinating its new online training program for the job.

Contact tracing involves calling people infected with COVID-19 to see who they’ve been in contact with to limit the spread of the virus. It also means reaching out to those who may have been exposed to people with COVID-19.

These are health care jobs and you work with public health departments. But Cabai says first and foremost they’re communication jobs.