How to become a contact tracer in New Jersey

Contact tracing has become an important part of many state's response to combating the coronavirus pandemic. Since the outbreak began in earnest in the United States, local officials have assembled teams dedicated to following the lines of potential transmission between an infected person and those they came in contact with.

In New Jersey, Gov. Phil Murphy has been aggressive about the use of contact tracing to fight the pandemic that has ravaged his state. The third step in Murphy's six-part reopening plan calls for a boost in contact tracing. 

As the state continues to ease restrictions on businesses and lift bans on public spaces, the first-term democrat has not relented on his promise to create a robust contact tracing community. In May, Murphy announced the state would add an additional 1,000 tracers to an army of 800-900. 

MORE: New Jersey to hire 1K contact tracers as part of COVID-19 response

Department of Health Director Greta Anschuetz says the state is still looking for applicants for the job that pays up to $25 an hour. The state is requesting interested persons to be at least 18 years or older with a high school degree. An application portal can be found on the state website

If a person is selected for the position, he or she will be required to complete a 15-hour training course at the Rutgers School of Public Health. From there, trainees are paired with experienced contact tracers for on-the-job training. 

Contact tracing may sound simple in theory, but Anschuetz assures that it is not an easy job. A tracer will reach out to people who recently tested positive for the virus to discuss their symptoms and who they were around during their incubation period. The tracer will then reach out to people who may have been exposed to COVID-19 and advise testing and treatment options.


For most people, the virus causes mild or moderate symptoms that clear up within weeks. Older adults and people with existing health problems are at higher risk of more severe illness or death.


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