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  • Sara Doan, Northeast Arkansas News

NYIT to conduct contact tracing for Arkansas State University system

JONESBORO, Ark- Contact tracers are a crucial part of the COVID-19 pandemic.

To continue efforts to contain the virus, NYIT-COM will expand their role as a medical school and serve as tracers for the Arkansas State system community.

This comes as classes start next Tuesday.

“ASU had approached us in exploring the opportunity of what it would look like to support contact tracing efforts,” says Dr. NYIT Associate Professor and Chair Brookshield Laurent. “So, it started from there, and after several discussions, we were able to confirm that we have the capacity, the infrastructure to support the ASU System in contact tracing during this time."

While contact tracing is through NYIT, they will hire tracers to perform the duties.

The contact tracing will work out of the medical school on the A-State Jonesboro campus.

They will use the Delta Population Health Institute, a community engagement branch of NYIT.

Dr. Laurent says students, faculty and staff will have the opportunity to submit an electronic report and contact tracers will go to work.

“Whether they’ve tested positive, whether they’ve been exposed to someone with COVID-19 or if they have symptoms that they believe are related to COVID-19,” says Dr. Laurent. “Based on the forms we receive; we will have case investigators reach out to those individuals and begin the contact tracing. It’s a phone call confirming who they were around and making sure we give them instructions around their health. We also talk about what they need to do to keep themselves, their family members, and their community safe.”

Dr. Laurent says tracers will also provide medical resources to individuals in case their symptoms become worse.

A-state will start their fall semester next week, NYIT plans to have the “unfractured” put in place by the time students start classes.

She says they are currently looking to hire people from the community to serve as contact tracers.

"We’re essentially looking for people that can communicate well and effectively with individuals, have experience primarily in customer service,” says Dr. Laurent. “It would help if they have experience in health care as well. We’re going to be training them on what to say and what questions to ask and communicate with them so we can provide them the information that they need.”

If you are interested in applying to be a contact tracer, you can apply on the A-State website.

Applications will also be accepted on a rolling basis.


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