State: 21,000 New Jerseyans have signed up to be COVID-19 contact tracers

Around 21,000 New Jerseyans have signed up to be COVID-19 contact tracers as the state continues to battle against the pandemic.

News 12 Staff

May 14, 2020, 2:59 AM

Updated 1,441 days ago

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Around 21,000 New Jerseyans have signed up to be COVID-19 contact tracers as the state continues to battle against the pandemic.
The effort to track people who may be infected with the virus and those who they came into contact with has created a host of new employment opportunities for those who are looking for work – including a recent college graduate.
“Obviously graduation during a pandemic is – it’s a weird time and I wanted to be able to do something to help,” says Sarah Sommer.
Sommer says that the pandemic shifted her senior year job search. After studying public health at Boston University, Sommer says that she felt that she might be well-suited for a job as a contact tracer.
“It was a concrete way to do something that really felt like it was going to make a difference,” she says.
It is this type of mindset that Bachrach Group district director David Darby says is what they seek when recruiting for the positions.
“This is a very serious time…you want people to be able to be a resource and really, passionately direct people to handle the situation appropriately,” he says.
Photos: Your Coronavirus Pandemic Experience
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Sommer applied for the position three weeks ago. She says that she was asked to interview for the role soon after.
“They were super, super friendly to me and really helpful in answering my question and trying to make this a position what was going to work well for me,” she says.
Sommer completed the online training this past Tuesday. She says that it included information about the coronavirus and how to effectively communicate as a contact tracer.
“The whole thing took me probably five or six hours, and then, at the end, there was an exam that I had to pass in order to move forward and it was honestly very interesting,” says Sommer.
Her advice for those thinking of applying: “Just throw in an application. You know, I really didn’t know what was going to come of it and it ended up being such an awesome process for me.”
She says that the role is at least a 14-month commitment.


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