New York State will hire and train a team of staff working remotely to support the NYS Department of Health (NYSDOH) and Local Health Departments (LHDs) to perform COVID-19 contact tracing in communities across NYS. The aim of this initiative will be to call every person diagnosed with COVID-19, establish all contacts of this person, and proceed to call and maintain ongoing communication with every contact. In addition, the team will support the isolation and quarantine of individuals, as appropriate in cooperation with the LHD. This includes virtual needs checks and referral to community resources as needed. This contact tracing initiative is in tandem with statewide-wide efforts to increase testing, improve communication and knowledge of effective strategies to reduce transmission, and implementation of isolation and quarantine. This will fortify efforts to control the pandemic in NYS.
The Contact Tracer will use a web-based client resource management (CRM) platform to call all contacts of anyone diagnosed with COVID-19, determine exposure, assess symptoms, refer for testing according to established protocols, and provide them with instructions for isolation or quarantine. Contact Tracers will maintain ongoing communication with contacts to assess symptoms, ensure compliance with quarantine and determine social support needs and/or handle reporting of issues that arise. Contact Tracers are required to follow set scripts and adhere to policies and procedures provided by NYS. They will also comply with Department training regarding confidential information related to personal information. COVID-19 Contract Tracers will be required to work a minimum of 20 hours per week.
- Work in collaboration with the Case Investigator from the local health department (LHD).
- Call contacts of newly diagnosed cases.
- Communicate with contacts in a professional and empathetic manner maintaining emotional and cultural awareness.
- Collect and record information on symptoms and needs into the CRM with accuracy.
- Provide contacts with approved information about NYS isolation and quarantine procedures, and if appropriate, refer them to testing according to protocol and/or to a COVID-19 Community Support Specialist for social resources.
- Follow a set script to inform contacts about the importance of isolation or quarantine and what to do if symptoms are present or develop.
- Maintain daily contact with Team Supervisor.
- The position is considered temporary with a one-year engagement expected and the possibility to extend as needed.
- The contact center will operate 7 days a week between the hours of 8am and 8pm. Evening and/or weekend work may be required.
- High school diploma, or equivalent required. Must be 18 years of age or older. Some college training preferred.
- Must be a NYS resident.
- Ability to speak, read, and write English clearly and concisely. Fluency in a second or multiple languages would be a plus.
- Employment is contingent on completion of a background check by NY State.
- Own telephone, computer, wireless internet (WiFi) and electronic equipment. (A partial reimbursement to maintain unlimited phone and data access will be provided.)
- Must have access to a working PC with Windows 10, Antivirus Protection: Windows Defender and Windows Firewall; or Mac with Apple OS X 10.13, Antivirus Protection: Sophos; and personal mobile device to use for this job.
- A headset is preferred.
- Ability to exhibit a professional, positive attitude and independent work ethic.
- Excellent interpersonal skills required and ability to interact professionally with culturally diverse individuals during a time of crisis and distress.
- Ability to show empathy to distressed individuals and assist with identifying solutions to problems identified.
- Excellent organizational and communication skills.
- Sound judgment required.
- Ability to handle confidential information with discretion and professionalism.
- Proficiency with computers and data entry into electronic tracking systems.