The Fairfax County Health Department is pleased to partner with the Institute for Public Health Innovation (IPHI) to hire and train staff for COVID-19 contact tracing efforts.
Contact tracing is a vital part of the Health Department’s approach to fighting the COVID-19 pandemic. In conducting contact tracing, public health staff speak with individuals who have probable or diagnosed COVID-19 illness and help them recall everyone with whom they have had close contact during the timeframe in which they may have been infectious. Public health staff then reach out to and warn those exposed individuals or (contacts) of their potential exposure as rapidly and sensitively as possible. As staff speak with contacts, they help individuals assess risk and share information and instructions for self-monitoring, isolation and staying healthy.
The Health Department has been conducting contact investigations since the beginning of the COVID-19 outbreak, utilizing a large number of staff who have been redeployed from other public health work, including school health. However, the Health Department does not have sufficient, long-term capacity for the scope of contact tracing that will be needed in the months to come as Virginia continues its phased reopening. To meet the need for large-scale contact tracing efforts, IPHI will hire and train contact tracing staff, community health workers, and other staff as needed. These staff will be employees of IPHI and will be deployed to assist with the Fairfax County Health Department’s contact tracing operation. Some could start as early as the second week of June.
Information on available opportunities and how to apply can be found on the IPHI careers page of their website at: https://www.institutephi.org/careers/.
“We are excited about the partnership we have developed to ensure adequate staffing capacity,” said Fairfax Health Director Dr. Gloria Addo-Ayensu. “At this time, we do not have firm numbers to share with respect to how many will ultimately be hired. We are looking to the Virginia Department of Health (VDH) and other national models as benchmarks and are preparing to hire as many as 400 staff to support our efforts.”
“Our plan is to hire and onboard staff in batches, or cohorts. We will begin advertising this week. We are coordinating with VDH to ensure that our internal processes, data systems and staffing models are in alignment.”
During the hiring process, the Health Department and IPHI will be actively seeking individuals with diverse linguistic and cultural backgrounds. In addition to these contact tracing positions, the department will also be hiring a large number of community health workers – trained community members with a close understanding of certain neighborhoods and populations in the county that are in heightened need of support. These positions will provide additional, culturally competent supports to our contact tracing teams. They will ensure we are able to connect with individuals and organizations in diverse communities, to share and reinforce important messaging, and to connect community members to needed programs and services.
For more information on contact investigations, please visit: https://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/health/novel-coronavirus/contact-investigations.
The Institute for Public Health Innovation is the official public health institute serving the DC-MD-VA region and one of over 40 such institutes across the country. IPHI develops multi-sector partnerships and innovative solutions to improve the public’s health and well-being in the region. IPHI’s work strengthens health systems and policy, enhances conditions that promote health, and builds government and community capacity to ensure equitable health opportunities for all.
Information on these positions and how to apply can be found on the IPHI careers page of their website at: https://www.institutephi.org/careers/. Please note that these positions will be employed by IPHI, a contractor to the county.
This is a rapidly changing situation, and information is being shared as it becomes available.
- Visit www.fairfaxcounty.gov/health/novel-coronavirus
- Visit www.fairfaxcounty.gov/covid19
- Text FFXCOVID to 888777 to receive updates from Fairfax County about COVID-19; text FFXCOVIDESP to 888777 for updates in Spanish
- Follow the Fairfax County Government Facebook Page and Health Department Facebook Page.
- Follow @fairfaxcounty and @fairfaxhealth on Twitter.