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Coronavirus

Lost your job? How to apply for a high-paying “contact tracer” role

The COVID-19 pandemic has left the U.S. economy in shambles. Within the span of a month, the labor market went from one of the lowest unemployment rates in American history to the highest since the Great Depression.

As a result, companies are adapting to this strange new way of living, with remote jobs and social distancing becoming mainstays for some time to come. Tap or click here to see which jobs are hiring at-home workers.

If you’re one of the millions of Americans who lost their job during the pandemic, there are still opportunities out there. In fact, an extremely important job is available now that not only pays well but can help save lives during COVID-19. It’s called “contact tracing,” and until the process goes 100% digital, workers are needed to make it happen.

Trace on!

Contact tracers serve an important role during the COVID-19 pandemic. When someone tests positive for the virus, it’s their job to find out who that person has been in contact with and assess their risk. Then, they reach out to these contacts and inform them of their exposure.

The process may not cure or prevent the disease overall, but it absolutely helps slow the spread down. People contacted by tracers can take steps to self-isolate, which stops new cases from popping up as they go about their lives. Contact tracing can also identify geographic hotspots that may pose a larger risk to public health.

As a contact tracer, you’ll be expected to wear two hats as both a health official and a detective of sorts. You’ll be interviewing at-risk people with positive COVID-19 tests, and reaching out to their contacts with potentially bad news. The job takes guts, but if you think you have what it takes, you could earn anywhere from $17 to $25 an hour.

How do I sign up?

To qualify as a contact tracer, customer service experience is required. You’ll mostly be reading from a script, and have prescribed questions and answers to share with patients you work with. A medical background is also ideal and may give you priority over other applicants.

In addition, you must be comfortable with remote work. Because of the dangers of interviewing COVID-19-positive patients, you’ll be speaking with them over video chat applications primarily. As such, you’ll need the same sort of gear that any other full-time work-from-home job would require. Tap or click here to see the basics you need.

As for finding the jobs, there aren’t specific hiring platforms for contact tracers at the moment. Most of these positions will be available on career pages for your state’s local health department, as well as for laboratories and other groups providing COVID-19 testing. If you use job boards in your hunting, use the search terms “contact tracer.”

As appealing as this position may sound, there are still some concerning factors to take into account. You may have to deal with patients reacting to your calls emotionally, perhaps even with anger or frustration. There’s also the inherent risk that your position may be short-lived as technology starts handling the process.

Tap or click here to see Apple and Google’s joint venture into contact tracing.

Ultimately, contact tracing jobs are a good opportunity for the times we live in. If you think you’ve got what it takes, reach out to employers in your local area and see what’s available.

No matter what happens, you can feel confident that you’re making an important difference with the work you do — and not even a bad economy can take that away.

The information contained in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as health or medical advice. Always consult a physician or other qualified health provider regarding any questions you may have regarding a medical condition, advice, or health objectives.

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