OSDH Hiring New Employees For COVID-19 Contact Tracing

Friday, May 29th 2020, 6:39 am
By: Jennifer Pierce

Oklahoma is hiring hundreds of people to help limit the spread of COVID-19.

The state's interim epidemiologist said they are about one week away from opening a call center for contact tracers.

The State Health Department has about 350 trained contract tracers right now, but they plan to train another 1,000 contact tracers so they can scale up or down to match the level of COVID-19 cases in the state.

A contact tracers job is to investigate every COVID case. They call an infected patient to get detailed information about everyone they were in close contact with to determine who was exposed. The state will then contact those potentially exposed individuals.

"The reason why contact tracing is so key to controlling infectious diseases, including COVID, is because it allows us to have a much more tailored approach to controlling the disease," said Aaron Wendelboe, Interim State Epidemiologist.

He also wants the public to know a contact tracer will never ask for private information, such as social security numbers or financial information.

Citizens can call the state's coronavirus 211 hotline to verify if they were contracted by a legitimate contact tracer.