Santa Clara County Looking To Add Contact Tracers, Bust Myths

Keith Menconi
May 27, 2020 - 3:49 pm

    Related: UCSF Launches Statewide Contact Tracing Training Program

    Santa Clara County is putting out the call for volunteers to help in the effort to get the South Bay reopened safely.

    Contact tracing is the labor-intensive work of tracking the close contacts of those who are COVID-19 positive to help stem the spread of the virus. While it’s at the top of the to-do list for state of California and county-level officials around the Bay Area, hiring the people to do it is proving to be a challenge.

    That includes Santa Clara County, as public health officials are looking to bring on 800 additional contact tracers by mid-July.

    "We’re looking for a commitment of about three months," Santa Clara County Executive Jeff Smith said. "We certainly would like to have a longer commitment, but we’ll take what we can get."

    Smith said some mistakenly believe the tracing work is performed in person and could put the tracers at risk, which has been a big challenge to overcome in the hiring process.

    "Contact tracing really can be done from your home, on the Internet, on the phone," Smith said.

    In order to amplify tracing efforts, the county is partnering with local community groups like the San Jose Rotary Club and the League of Women Voters.

    If you want to be one of them, find out more about the program on the county’s website.