The Susan Hirt Hagen Center for Civic and Urban Engagement is partnering with the Clark County Combined Health District (CCCHD) to offer students the opportunity to make contract tracing calls as the number of COVID-19 cases continue to rise in Ohio as well as across the country.
“We set up calling stations in the Hagen Center thanks to our folks in IT, and students are volunteering to make the calls,” said Kristen Collier, director of community service at the Hagen Center. “We are just trying to offer a little bit of help as the number of cases continues to spike. The stations were set up last week. and the first volunteers started on November 12th.”
The first students to help were community engagement scholars Kathleen McGuff, class of 2021 (pictured above), and Olivia Norbut, class of 2024 (pictured below the story). Emma Smales, health planning supervisor with the CCCHD, is training students to make the calls.
As a contact tracer, students call individuals who have been in close contact with someone who tested positive for COVID-19. Contract tracers follow a script provided by the CCCHD. They let the person know that they have been exposed, how long to quarantine, and that they will be sent an official quarantine letter either by mail or email.
“This is another opportunity for the Hagen Center to invest in the ongoing partnership we have with the CCCHD,” Collier said. “During this pandemic, the demand on many of our partners to continue offering services or offer them in creative ways has been great. Due to circumstances related to COVID, it has been challenging to have as many students out serving in the community as we had before the pandemic started.”
Collier is hoping to set up more long-term service opportunities next semester with the CCCHD to help students fulfill their community service requirement.