COVID-19 is a new respiratory virus that causes flu-like illness ranging from mild to severe, with symptoms of fever, coughing, fatigue and difficulty breathing. The national Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Mississippi State Department of Health continue to closely monitor the outbreak of respiratory illnesses caused by the novel (new) coronavirus COVID-19, and are working to limit the spread of cases nationally and in Mississippi. This crisis has created an unprecedented need for case investigation and contact tracing across the country, requiring thousands of people to learn key skills quickly.
MSPHI is poised to assist MSDH to meet this challenge by implementing a robust COVID-19 workforce development effort for call center staff, which includes initial and ongoing training. Typically, training includes a blend of knowledge-based and skills-based coursework. Training for each of the case investigation and contact tracing roles cover disease-specific information, interview guides, and protocols that include referral of high-risk individuals and complex cases to clinical staff, guidance on maintaining privacy/confidentiality, and referrals to support services, and also include interactive skills-based training.