Background: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends aggressive contact tracing to control the COVID-19 pandemic. In this work, we (1) describe the development of a COVID-19 contact tracing initiative that includes medical, nursing, and public health students, and is led by clinicians and infectious disease epidemiologists within our health system, and, (2) articulate process steps for contact tracing including workflows and telephone scripts, and, (3) highlight the key challenges and strategies to overcome these challenges. Methods: A single academic institution-based contact tracing initiative was rapidly scaled to 110 health professional students, four physicians, two epidemiologists, and a research team. Following training, students called patients who were COVID-19 positive and the individuals they were in contact with to ensure proper isolation and quarantine measures. Students also assisted those who faced barriers to quarantine. Implications: In total, between March 24 and May 28 – this initiative completed contact tracing for 536 confirmed cases, which resulted in the identification of 953 contacts. We aim to disseminate this process, including telephone scripts and workflow, to other health systems for use in their initiatives to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic and future public health emergencies.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Health Policy
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
- Infectious Diseases