COVID Contact Tracer Initiative

We have a pressing and unique opportunity for the CUNY community to respond to the COVID-19 crisis and we are seeking participation from faculty and staff across the University.

New York State has officially launched the NYS COVID-19 Contact Tracer Initiative in an effort to recruit 6,400 to 17,000 tracers to help prevent the spread of the virus.

The Initiative will recruit staff for three positions: Contact TracerTeam Supervisor, or Community Support Specialist.  

As part of the recruitment effort, all eligible applicants will be screened and go through one interview process. CUNY and SUNY have been asked to provide expertise to help with second interviews for the Community Support Specialist and Supervisor roles, which will be approximately ten percent of the overall staff hired for the Initiative. Additional information is provided in an email from DOHME.

In response, CUNY wishes to recruit 100 faculty and staff volunteers to support a series of 30-minute interviews for the Support Specialist and Supervisor positions.  The NYS Initiative started recruiting for these positions on Friday, May 1 and seeks to offer second interviews to eligible candidates from Monday, May 11 through Sunday, May 17. The expected time commitment is four to five hours/day for each volunteer interviewer, up to three to four days a week. Prior to initiation of the second interviews, NYSDOH will provide volunteer interviewers with job descriptions and sample questions to ensure that the candidates understand the role and the interviewers are best prepared to select the most eligible applicants.

In addition, DOH has asked that interviewers have a background or expertise in health or human services, so we are calling on HHS faculty and staff across our campuses to support this effort. 

Patricia Simino Boyce, University Dean for Health and Human Services, will serve as the point person for our recruited volunteers and NYSDOH. In addition, we will provide administrative staff to support this effort internally and facilitate the necessary communications for interviewers, interviewees, and with NYSDOH.   

Please encourage faculty and staff to contact Patti at patricia.boyce@cuny.edu by Thursday, May 7, if they are interested in serving as an interviewer or have any questions. More information will be provided in the coming days.

In the meantime, please also encourage CUNY students and graduates to apply for any of the three available positions. Please note: Students across any of our programs may be eligible for the Contact Tracer position (which is a minimum of 20 hours/week), while health and human service students and graduates may meet the qualifications for the Supervisor or Support Specialist roles. We highly encourage faculty and career services staff to work together to help students understand these roles through information sessions, reviewing résumés, and offering guidance, as needed, to ensure that CUNY students have the strongest chances to secure these positions that are so vital to our recovery. The roles are not allocated to CUNY; our students are competing for these roles with the general public.

Thank you for supporting this request at this challenging time. Once again, this effort provides an example of how the CUNY community responds to the State’s “Call to Action” during the crisis. 

By the Division of Academic Affairs​