INMD 7016

COVID-19 Contact Tracing with MDH


Katie MacDonald
Course Coordinator

Curriculum focus: 
Clinical level: 
MS year: 
Terms offered: 



    Catalog Description:  With indirect supervision, third and fourth year medical students will assist in contact tracing shifts to assist in the Minnesota Department of Health’s (MDH) efforts to track COVID-19 cases throughout the state. Students will receive onboarding and training by MDH and then work to identify, assess, and manage “contacts"" who have been exposed to COVID-19 to prevent additional transmission. Medical students will work alongside public health students and MDH staff. Students will provide anticipatory guidance and refer contacts to additional services in the state and their community. In addition to contact tracing shifts, students will be expected to participate in on-line small group facilitated discussion about contact tracing, public health, and pandemic management. Students will prepare a brief presentation (less than 5 minutes) on a COVID-19 topic for peers and faculty during the 4 week course.

    Students will be asked to register with the Medical Reserve Corps and complete a brief orientation prior to the start of the course.

    Sites: OL: Online learning

    Required session attendance: Orientation, onboarding and weekly remote conference calls

    Typical weekly schedule/Delivery mode:

    1. 4 6-hour contact tracing shifts (~24 hours per week) each of the 4 weeks, with the goal of reaching five contacts per shift. Contact tracing shifts occur 7 days a week: students should expect to work no more than 2 weekend six-hour shifts during the 4 week course.
    2. Participation in virtual small group activities: namely one 2-hour zoom conference call per week which will include 5 brief student presentations on COVID-19 topics with discussion.
    3. Completion of onboarding, training, course readings, and virtual discussions
    4. As above, completion of a short, under 5 minute Chalk Talk style presentation about a COVID-19 related topic.

    Direct patient care: No

    Consent Requirement: Open to student scheduling

    Course Objectives: By the end of this course, students will be able to demonstrate the following:

    1. Identify and employ the steps involved in the contact tracing process.
    2. Explain how someone becomes a Person Under Investigation (PUI) for contact tracing.
    3. Define the role of a contact tracer.
    4. Provide the contact with appropriate guidance and identify and notify individuals who might have come in contact with a PUI.
    5. Reflect on the impact that public health measures can have on pandemic management.
    6. Describe the complexities of working in partnership with a state health department during a pandemic.
    7. Analyze and present on a COVID-19 topic to peers and course faculty.

    Graded Components: 

    • Completion of assigned contact tracing shifts
    • Satisfactory topic presentation and engagement in weekly small group discussions

    Grading Scale: P/N


    Allow repetition of course:

    Limited to student type:

    Course equivalency:

    Related curricular experience:

    Secure exam:

    Course evaluation:  MedHub