Q1: What is a contact tracer?
Q2: Can I get hired to do contact tracing?
Q3: Will the Apple/Google phone tracing technology replace the need for contact tracers?
Answers in this thread!
A1: A contact tracer... traces contacts! In an infectious disease outbreak, a contract tracer talks to people who have tested positive for the disease (a "case") to find out all the people they have recently been in contact with (the "contacts").
The tracer then reaches out to the contacts to inform them that someone they have been in contact with has tested positive for the disease, and give guidance about appropriate next steps: testing, self-quarantining, monitoring symptoms, etc.
A2: Many health departments are now scrambling to recruit, train and deploy contact tracers. If you're interested in working as a contact tracer, start with your local health department.
The requirements for the job vary -- some health departments are only hiring college graduates, for example. Many are looking for prior customer service experience. Since most contact tracing is done by phone, contact tracing can usually be done remotely.
Sounds amazing! Also, yikes! You can start to see some of the challenges here: Privacy concerns and widespread willingness to use the app for starters. Also, the app doesn't solve the problem that many #Covid_19 cases are asymptomatic and may never get tested.