L&C’s WESST Meets Market Demand with Contact Tracing Course

Article by: Jan Dona, L&C Media Services,

GODFREY – Recognizing the need for trained contact tracers in the region, Lewis and Clark Community College’s Workforce Education, Solutions and Safety Training (WESST) has added an online Contact Tracing and Infection Control course to its curriculum.

With the understanding that contact tracing could be what ends the spread of COVID-19 and the key to managing future disease outbreaks, WESST has teamed up with CareerStep to offer students the opportunity to earn a certificate of completion in Contact Tracing and Infection Control.

“For years, many health departments and hospitals have employed contact tracers who focus on various infectious diseases,” WESST Director Kathy Willis said. “Right now, the COVID-19 surge has emphasized the importance of this job.”

According to the Centers for Disease Control, contact tracing is an effective disease control strategy that involves identifying cases and their contacts, then working with them to interrupt disease transmission.

The ability to promptly identify, isolate or quarantine, and monitor a person with an infectious disease and their contacts can effectively break the chain of transmission and prevent further spread of the disease.

The career outlook for well-trained contact tracers will extend well beyond the current pandemic. Since contact tracers can work remotely, a tracer can work for companies/healthcare organizations anywhere in the country.

“Long-term career pathways extend beyond the current pandemic, which has merely highlighted the importance of the job and currently provides a reason to hire more tracers,” Willis said.

Students will be instructed in contact tracing protocols, including how contact tracing works and what is expected in the role of a contact tracer, guidelines set forth by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), and basics of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA).

This online course requires 22 hours of self-paced study, after which, successful students will be awarded a certificate of completion.

For more information, contact WESST Program Coordinator Dawn Zedolek at (618) 468-5785 or

To learn more about other courses offered through WESST, visit