By Alexandria Hoff


PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Part of the plan when it comes to reopening is contact tracing. Tracers interview those who have COVID-19 and figure out who they’ve come into contact with and then alert those individuals.

As states move ahead with reopening, officials say contact tracers are essential to making it work safely. That means the states in our area are hiring.

So you want to be a contact tracer?

“We are looking to hired about 200 Delawareans,” said Delaware Health Director Dr. Karyl Rattay.

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“We are going to need to build our community contact tracing corps,” New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy said.

Hiring is taking place on both the county and state level throughout the tri-state region.

In New Jersey, Gov. Murphy announced a big addition to the contact tracing programs already on the ground.

“We know that we will need at least 1,000 dedicated contact tracers to compliment the hundreds we’ve already put on the ground,” he said.

The pay? Up to $25 an hour, he said.

Interested applicants are urged to register on the state’s website.

In Philadelphia, the health department says the city is not ready to launch its contact tracing program and couldn’t say how many hires will be needed, but did add that the pay will be competitive.

There are Philadelphia-based contact tracing job postings on the Public Health Management Corporations website. For those, a bachelor’s degree in public health is preferred.

Montgomery County’s website advertised several contact tracing positions as well. The salary range is between $49,000 and $70,000. Most positions listed require a master’s degree.

“We are using everything from college graduates to retired police,” Camden County Freeholder Louis Cappelli Jr. said.

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In South Jersey, Camden County’s contact tracing program is already established, with 30 workers total and another 13 to be added soon.

As for job security, “until there’s a vaccine, I’m sure we will have a need for this service,” Cappelli said.

Most of the contact tracing positions we came upon are grant-funded to exist for a minimum of a year.

Alexandria Hoff