Purdue Global launches free COVID-19 contact tracing class

Tracking people's location and coronavirus outbreak: crowd of people keeping a safe distance and being located by a tracker app

Purdue University Global on Thursday launched a free online course that trains individuals in contact tracing to help slow the spread of COVID-19.

Contact tracing has been an important disease control measure during the pandemic, allowing health officials to monitor COVID-19 as it spreads from person to person. Many states have announced contact-tracing programs and are deploying mobile applications that can notify users when they come into proximity of other users who are known to have contracted the disease.

The new course, the university said, aims to assist those critical efforts as they’re deployed.

“Ramping up the number of contact tracers from coast to coast is paramount to the ongoing successful reopening of our country,” Purdue University Global chancellor Frank Dooley said in a press release.

Individuals who take the self-study course will be taught how COVID-19 is contracted and transmitted, strategies to reduce the spread of the disease, contact-tracing protocols, legal requirements, effective risk communication and how to analyze collected data.

“In addition to explaining all the latest information about the coronavirus, we will present important material focused on legal requirements of contact tracing and effective communication,” Melissa Burdi, dean and vice president-elect for the Purdue Global School of Nursing, said in the release.

For a limited time, Purdue Global has made the course free and will also make the course available to government agencies, educational institutions and businesses to support their specific needs.