By Jeff Maggioncalda, CEO Coursera
On May 11, The Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health launched a free course on Coursera, COVID-19 Contact Tracing, to help states expand their contact tracing capacity by training thousands of contact tracers. This is a crucial step in meeting their recommendation for more than 100,000 additional contact tracers in the U.S. alone in order to help limit the spread of the pandemic.
The course, which was created with support from Bloomberg Philanthropies, teaches the fundamentals of contact tracing, including necessary information about the virus, interview strategies and simulations, communication skills, and ethical considerations. The five-hour course is open to everyone with an interest in contact tracing. Taking the course and passing the exam at the end is a requirement to be considered for a contact tracer role in the state of New York.
We are highly encouraged by the initial response — in just one week, more than 150,000 learners have enrolled in the course. More than 22,000 learners have already completed it, including over 2,500 prospective contact tracers who could be employed by the state of New York. Contact tracing will offer meaningful employment to those impacted by the economic downturn while fulfilling an urgent public health need.
We look forward to working with the Bloomberg School of Public Health to make the program available to more states across the U.S. and countries around the world.
“We’re thrilled to be able to put this course together and to make it available to anyone who wants to help fill this critical and urgent public health need, or just wants to know about what contact tracing is,” said Dr. Emily Gurley, lead course instructor and an infectious disease epidemiologist at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.
Coursera’s vision is to create universal access to the world’s best learning, and times like these show how online learning can be effective in providing a timely solution to a major challenge at hand. We’re proud to partner with Johns Hopkins University, a globally recognized institution at the forefront of fighting this pandemic, to offer vital training to help create a domestic and global workforce of informed contact tracers. Learn more and sign up here.