SPH launches free online contact tracing training

Tuesday, May 26, 2020

A new training developed by the Northwest Center for Public Health Practice at the University of Washington School of Public Health will equip an army of contact tracers with the skills they need to help slow the spread of COVID-19.

The 90-minute contact tracing training, called Every Contact Counts, is available at no cost and designed to deliver concise instruction. It also provides an interactive learning experience through interview skill-building videos, quizzes and an exercise where participants practice key decision-making during a contact interview.

“Contact tracing is going to be an essential part of our reopening and containment efforts moving forward,” said Janet Baseman in a recent GeekWire story about the training. Baseman, a professor of epidemiology at the School of Public Health, had a hand in designing the training and is the instructor for Every Contact Counts. She is also the School's Associate Dean for Public Health Practice.

“We need to trace every contact possible, because every contact counts in stopping this disease,” she said.

Through the module, public health professionals who have little or no experience with contact tracing can learn the basics to be successful as they reach out to community members and help save lives. The training is also open to other volunteers with a basic understanding of public health.

Participants will learn to describe contact tracing and why it’s important to public health. They'll also learn to articulate why COVID-19 is unique when it comes to contact tracing, identify the key components of a successful contact tracing interview, and complete a contact tracing interview with confidence, clarity and compassion.

The Northwest Center for Public Health Practice has a long history as a regional training center, providing essential support for public health practice professionals, from bioterrorism to rural data collection. The center has also been a regional Preparedness and Emergency Response Learning Center with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

This training was made possible by a grant from the Kansas Health Foundation, a nonprofit organization based in Wichita, Kansas, but with statewide grantmaking abilities.

Read the full story from the Northwest Center for Public Health Practice.