The Province will hire approximately 500 additional health professionals to increase contact tracing around the province.
It is anticipated that candidates will begin work in September 2020 and will be employed until the end of March 2021, with opportunity for extension if needed.
Contact tracing works by following up with each person who has tested positive for COVID-19 to understand who their contacts may be and providing appropriate follow up.
Health authorities’ public health teams typically have staff who do contact tracing of communicable diseases as part of their regular work. However, given the scale of the response needed for COVID-19, additional supports are necessary, the government said.
These positions will be temporary and will be recruited by the Provincial Health Services Authority and the regional health authorities.
This will allow health authorities to increase their local pool of available public health professionals, while also providing a team of people that are available to be deployed throughout the province as needed.
The Ministry of Health is working with Health Match BC and the health authorities to manage the recruitment process.
“We want to make sure people are kept safe in any COVID-19 outbreak, and one of the ways to do that is through strong contact tracing,” said Premier John Horgan.
“These new contact tracers will provide an extra layer of protection by jumping into action as soon as there is an outbreak, and will start their detective-style work to find out who may be infected in order to protect all British Columbians.”
Some of these positions will also help to support public health services, such as providing education in communities, and possibly immunizing for influenza and other diseases.