Harrisburg Area Community College (HACC) announced the establishment of its new Contact Tracer Training Program made to contribute to terminating the spread of COVID-19 in Pennsylvania.

Contact tracing is currently used to help lessen and diminish the spread of COVID-19 by alerting individuals who have come in contact with someone who tested positive for the virus.

Once contact is detected, individuals are notified and encouraged to pay more attention to any potential symptoms, as well as being asked to quarantine themselves from others for 14 days from the time of potential exposure. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) define exposure incidents as durations of 15 minutes spent within six feet of a person with symptomatic COVID-19.

Read more: LebTown Explains: What’s the status of contact tracing in Lebanon County?

The new Contact Tracer Training Program, which kicks off Monday, June 8, is 45 hours long and lasts for four weeks. New start dates for the program cycle every two weeks. The cost is $429, although students who qualify can receive financial support from SCPa Works to cover their expense.

To find out more information about SCPa Works, contact Mike Barba at mbarba@scpaworks.org or call the Lebanon County CareerLink phone number at 215-948-4112.

“This program provides an opportunity for employment for hospitality workers and others who suddenly found themselves without jobs as businesses were shuttered and people sheltered in place,” said John Sygielski, HACC president and CEO in a news release.

The training will consist of remote classes via Zoom. HACC stated that the online components of the course will include the basics of the global coronavirus pandemic, contact tracer requirements and protocol, and health information protection and patient privacy. Students will engage in various role-playing scenarios for contact tracing, customer service and cultural sensitivity. 

After completing the program, students will receive a certificate of completion. The program complies with CDC and Pennsylvania Department of Health regulations and graduates are expected to be eligible for opportunities such as with Gov. Tom Wolf’s proposed Commonwealth Civilian Coronavirus Corps.

Read more: How Pa. plans to keep track of the coronavirus after reopening to prevent another outbreak

Students must be 18 or older, have a high school diploma or General Equivalency Diploma and pass a mandated Pennsylvania background check to enroll, according to Sygielski.

Those interested in the Contact Tracer Training Program are asked to contact Abby Peslis, HACC director of corporate and business services, at alpeslis@hacc.edu.

Read all of LebTown’s COVID-19 coverage here.

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