Thousands in Virginia apply to be a virus contact tracer

Virginia News

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Hoping to contain coronavirus transmission in Virginia, state health officials are stepping up efforts to hire contact tracers and the resumes are pouring in. Contact tracers help identify who may have been exposed to a person positive for COVID-19. 

Governor Ralph Northam says the job is attracting thousands and federal dollars are helping the Virginia Department of Health with the hiring process. Northam said Wednesday, “VDH has worked with several staffing companies to help speed up this process and has received more than 3,000 resumes.”

Virginia State Health Commissioner Dr. Norm Oliver said contact tracing is critical in the effort to contain the spread of the virus.  

“We are processing currently about 3,000 applications. We will be hiring supervisors in regional areas for this new additional workforce of contract tracers,” Oliver told reporters at Wednesday’s coronavirus briefing.

The health commissioner reports there are about 600 contact tracers in the field now. Virginia hopes to increase that number to 1,300. That 1,300 number is based off data from researchers at Harvard. If a person is identified as primary contact, Oliver says they will be asked to self- quarantine for 14 days.

For more coronavirus coverage, click here.

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