Wudan Yan’s inside account of the growing army of contact tracers for the novel coronavirus, up to 66,000 by the latest count, provides insight into a real-time experiment of mass talent redeployment.
States are facing immediate needs to hire and train contact tracers within very short time frames. For a glimpse into the demand to apply to be a contact tracer, Massachusetts received 37,000 applications for the first 1,700 tracers they needed to hire. Additionally, many governments are deciding to redeploy and retrain other municipal employees to become contact tracers. In San Francisco, tracers receive 20 hours of virtual training,