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UArizona Contact Tracing Team Needs Student and Staff Volunteers

Be part of the solution! To bring us all back to campus safely in Fall 2020, the College of Public Health needs student and staff volunteers to do Contact Tracing and stop the spread of COVID-19 for the campus community.

safer-page-image.jpgIn March, 2020, the Student Aid for Field Epidemiology Response (SAFER) team at the College of Public Health went into action to help Pima County Health Department conduct case investigations of individuals who had tested positive for COVID-19. In the span of the past three months, the SAFER team has completed over 1,000 case investigations for COVID-19! In total, the team of student volunteers has called over 2,400 people in their contact tracing efforts.

Student and Staff Volunteers Needed for Contact Tracing Team

Now, as the UArizona prepares to bring students back to campus for Fall 2020, the SAFER team is expanding to become a Contact Tracing program that will help keep the campus community safe and mitigate the spread of the virus.

The new UArizona Contact Tracing team needs student and staff volunteers who will be trained to interview individuals who have tested positive and follow up with possible contacts. Volunteers will work from home using the virtual call center system.

To join the SAFER Contact Tracing team and be part of the solution,
fill out this quick REDCap survey to sign up:

If you have questions, please email

What Is Contact Tracing?

When an individual texts positive for COVID-19, a Contact Tracer will call that person on the phone, assess their status, and compile a list of people that the infected person may have had contact with in the past several days – people that might have been exposed to the virus. The Contact Tracer then calls (traces) all the people that had contact with the infected person and may have been exposed. That way, the people who may have been exposed can self-quarantine and get tested so they do not risk infecting others.

Supporting the UArizona Reentry Plan

Contact Tracing is one part of the Trace component in the UArizona “3T’s” Reentry Plan, which includes 1) Test, 2) Trace, and 3) Treat. The 3T’s ( comprise a smart, methodical, science-based approach that will reduce the risk of COVID spread among the campus community and keep the Fall 2020 semester as safe as possible.

Kristen Pogreba-Brown, Assistant Professor, Epidemiology and Biostatistics Department, leads the SAFER team. The SAFER program supports county and state health agencies in the fight against disease, and it provides vital training for students who will become the public health leaders of the future.

With the possibility of UArizona students heading back to campus, the SAFER team’s work continues to be vital and the team is looking to bring on more student volunteers. You can help the Test, Trace and Treat initiative by joining the SAFER team and being trained to be a Contract Tracer.

Contact Tracing Course for Fall 2020 – Learn and Give Back!

In support of the SAFER Contact Tracing Team, Kristen Pogreba-Brown will offer a Contact Tracing course so students can receive credit for learning the skills and serving the community as contact tracers.

Course Name: Topics in Epidemiology: Contact Tracing and Public Health Response. EPID 496/596 Service Learning Course

Description: Contact tracing, a proven method to slow and stop the spread of disease, has been an important public health tool for decades. This service-learning course will teach students how contact tracing works, how to implement contact tracing during an outbreak or pandemic, and train them to conduct professional contract tracing interviews. Students will gain real-world experience working as contact tracers during the CoVID-19 pandemic as part of the Contact Tracing team to support the UArizona Reentry Plan. Register for this 3 credit course to learn an important public health skill and serve your community! 

The name of the Contact Tracing course is “Topics in Epidemiology” EPID 496/596 and it is ready for enrollment.   Students can see the course topic: “Contact Tracing and Public Health Response” in the course notes.

Innovative Solutions: A Virtual Call Center for COVID-19 Response

Learn about the “virtual” call center that Pogreba-Brown established in record time working in close collaboration with Information Technology experts at the University of Arizona. They launched the call center on the Amazon Connect platform.

Public Health Students Answer Calls to State COVID-19 Hotline

Learn how SAFER students volunteered to support a COVID-19 phone hotline for the State of Arizona:

The University of Arizona red triangle graphic