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Johns Hopkins Offers Free Certificate Course on Contact Tracing

In a special arrangement with Bloomberg Philanthropies, a new course by the Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Health is training people to do COVID-19 contact tracing. The course is being delivered through Coursera and includes a certificate for those who complete it successfully. Already, nearly 200,000 people have enrolled.

The five-hour course teaches students about the science of SARS-CoV-2 and will show them how contact tracing is done, including nuances in how to build rapport with cases, identify their contacts and support both cases and their contacts to stop community transmission. The course will also cover ethical considerations around contact tracing, isolation and quarantine and identify common barriers to contact tracing efforts — along with strategies to overcome them.

The course is being taught by Emily Gurley, an associate scientist at Johns Hopkins, who has worked in public health in Bangladesh since 2003.

The course couldn't come any sooner. A report by Johns Hopkins that laid out a national plan for contact tracing in the United States estimated that the country would have to add about 100,000 paid or volunteer contact tracers to its public health workforce to keep up with expected demand.

To learn more, visit the course page on the Coursera website.

About the Author

Dian Schaffhauser is a former senior contributing editor for 1105 Media's education publications THE Journal, Campus Technology and Spaces4Learning.

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