A snapshot of the US contact-tracing workforce

As of the end of July, 45 states and the District of Columbia reported a total of 41,122 contact tracers, according to NPR's latest survey, done in collaboration with the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security.

Five things to know:

1. Contact tracers help track COVID-19 cases and exposure. They call those who are infected and find their contacts to notify them of their exposure risk so they can take precautions. 

2. Although NPR's latest survey found a total of 41,122 contact tracers, that count may be higher because not all U.S. states responded to the survey, and 12 states said their counts exclude county and local staff, NPR said.

3. According to NPR, more than two-thirds of states are using a bank of trained reserve staff for contact tracing as needed, and 11 said unpaid volunteers are part of their contact-tracing workforce.

5. Overall, CDC Director Robert Redfield, MD, estimated in June that as many as 100,000 contact tracers are needed nationwide to combat the pandemic.

Read more about the survey here


More articles on workforce:

COVID-19 sidelines 156 Alabama hospital employees
55 COVID-19 employee, patient infections linked to outbreak at Massachusetts hospital
Northwell Health ICU nurses travel to Utah to assist Intermountain workers

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