The course, which is open to anyone who wants to take it for free, is six hours long, and it’s being offered by the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. Hundreds have already enrolled.
A new online course is training participants on contract tracing, which is a public health strategy experts say is crucial to responding to the outbreak of COVID-19.
This course is free and open to anyone. It takes six hours to complete, and interested parties can learn more or sign up for it here via Coursera. It was developed by the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.
This new course has also been embraced by at least one state government, with New York state requiring the course for the thousands of contact tracers it plans to hire to fight the pandemic. According to a press release from Johns Hopkins, within hours of the course going live online earlier this week, more than 400 people registered to take the class.
The class is called “COVID-19 Contact Tracing,” and what it does is essentially teach attendees the basics of a long-used public health tool to combat the transmission of infectious diseases. These basics include how to interview people diagnosed with the virus, how to identify their close contacts who may have also been exposed and how to give them guidance on self-quarantining for two weeks.
New York state’s requiring of the course fits into a larger push being led by Gov. Andrew Cuomo and former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg to develop a statewide contract tracing program there. The goal for that program is to achieve a baseline of 30 trained contact tracers for every 100,000 residents of the state.
Having a free online class to take created by health experts will support the state’s work to train and prepare contact tracers for the challenges to come, all without leaving the safety of their own homes or having to gather in large numbers in a public space during the pandemic.
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