All Topics for Case Investigators | Coronavirus | COVID-19

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Background: This document contains a sample training plan including training topics that may be helpful for state and local public health jurisdictions to consider when designing their own training plan for COVID-19 case investigators. Each heading represents the learning objective for that section. Suggested training modalities/formats are provided, as well as information about sample existing trainings and resources. This document may be updated as new resources become available. For the purposes of this document, case investigators are those who interview confirmed and probable COVID-19 patients and gather information on their recent close contacts.

Overall Training Goal: After completing all training below, learners should be able to conduct basic case investigation according to an established protocol.

Target Audience: Public health employees, volunteers or others with little or no public health disease control experience conducting case investigation.

Identify strategies to reduce spread of COVID-19

  • Background on COVID-19
    • General
    • Epidemiology and surveillance principles
    • Update on current emergency response
  • COVID-19 disease-specific information
    • Signs/symptoms
    • Incubation period and infectious period
    • Testing
    • Diagnosis and current management
    • Prevention and control (including self-isolation for patients and self-quarantine for contacts)
  • Ways to prevent spread of COVID-19
    • General precautions
    • Role of public health, case investigation, and contact tracing
    • Other ways to reduce spread

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Identify the primary components of COVID-19 case investigation

  • Foundational principles of public health
  • Relevant terminology
    • Case definition
    • Public health jurisdiction’s case investigation terminology
    • Terms that may be used in other jurisdictions (e.g., other states, federal)
  • Introduction to contract tracing
    • General
    • Define contact tracing
    • Describe basic steps of contract tracing
      • Case identification and prioritization
      • Notification of positive test results
      • Interview
      • Follow-up and next steps
    • Describe skills and qualities necessary for case investigators
      • Active listening skills, including the use of open-ended questions
      • Motivational interviewing skills
      • Risk communication, problem solving, emotional intelligence skills
      • Cultural sensitivity
      • Adaptations for patients with communication impairments and non-English speakers

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