The state is accepting applications for Community Support Specialists to work remotely to support the Department of Health and local health departments to perform COVID-19 contact tracing in communities across the state.
The position is considered temporary, with a one-year engagement expected with the possibility to extend as needed. The minimum salary is $27 an hour.
The aim of the initiative will be to call every person diagnosed with COVID-19, establish all contacts of this person, and proceed to call and maintain ongoing communication with every contact. In addition, the team will support the isolation and quarantine of individuals, as appropriate, in cooperation with local health departments.
This includes virtual needs checks and referrals to community resources as needed. This contact-tracing initiative is part of statewide efforts to increase testing, improve communication and knowledge of effective strategies to reduce transmission, and implement isolation and quarantine.
Community Support Specialists will be part of a team of up to 20 Contact Tracers and one Team Supervisor who will all have a similar hybrid remote/center location-based presence. Each team will be responsible for working with local health departments to contact people diagnosed with COVID-19 and determine their contacts, helping make care plans for people with COVID-19 and their contacts, and maintaining communication and connecting contacts with various services (including social support structures, testing, clinical care, etc.).
The team will provide education about COVID-19, on isolation, quarantine procedures and relevant social services. Community Support Specialists will work with the team to address the support needs of those who are contacts, especially those who are under isolation or quarantine. This will include working with LHDs and support agencies to address housing, food, mental health, testing, and medical and other needs.
They also will develop and maintain a list of available resources by county; assist with phone calls the team is responsible for, including contacting people with COVID-19 to find out their contacts, as well as calling contacts and informing of their exposure, need for quarantine and arranging for testing if appropriate. The contact center will operate seven days a week between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. Evening and/or weekend work may be required.
Applicants need to have either a bachelor’s degree and one year of experience specifically in social/human services; or an associate degree in social science (social work, sociology, psychology, mental health counseling, or related field); or a minimum of three years of college-level coursework with a focus on social science.
They also must be state residents familiar with the state’s geography.
Experience in a health, human-service, or community-based organization, or institutional setting is preferred, as is familiarity with and experience working in a health system in New York State. This includes hospitals, health-care providers, health-regulatory organizations and schools.
Experience working with community resources and social services is strongly preferred, as is the ability to speak, read and write English clearly and concisely. Fluency in a second or multiple languages is a plus.
Employment is contingent on completion of a background check.
Community Support Specialists will use their own telephones, computers, WiFi and electronic equipment, for which they will receive partial reimbursements to maintain unlimited phone and data access.
To apply and for more information go to coronavirus.health.ny.gov/get-involved-how-you-can-help.
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