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"These College Students are Working as Contact Tracers to Stop the Spread"

CNBC interviewed Joana Fernandez Nuñez, a UCLA Fielding School of Public Health graduate student (MSW-MPH, Community Health Sciences) working for the Fielding School's COVID-19 Virtual Training Academy, in a story about college students working as contact tracers and in contact tracing training programs

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Date: 
Thursday, March 11, 2021
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CNBC interviewed Joana Fernandez Nuñez, a UCLA Fielding School of Public Health graduate student (MSW-MPH, Community Health Sciences) working for the Fielding School's COVID-19 Virtual Training Academy, in a story about college students working as contact tracers and in contact tracing training programs.

“A lot of people have these skills, but sometimes we don’t realize we have them,” Fernandez Nuñez said. “It was a way for me to help … It was a way for me to rise to the moment and contribute some of the skills that I had.”

Along with Fernandez Nuñez, those interviewed included Taya Westfield, working at the Johnson County Public Health Department in Iowa City. Surrounded by a handful of co-workers, Westfield is taking calls, building rapport, and notifying citizens about potential exposure to Covid-19.

For Westfield, a senior public health student at the University of Iowa, it’s just another typical day as a contact tracer, a job she never planned on doing this late in her college career. Westfield learned about the opportunity by chance last spring, after taking a course with the county’s community health division manager. He reached out looking for tracers when the pandemic started up.

“I am very much someone that likes to be involved in my community and when I see issues come up, it’s in me to want to help out,” she said.

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