Alberta hiring 900 more contact tracers in wake of COVID-19 surge

Dec 4 2020, 3:42 pm

Alberta Health Services is once again expanding its contact tracing team.

AHS’ President and CEO Verna Yiu spoke at Friday’s Province of Alberta COVID-19 press conference to bring some news about the province’s contact tracing work.

According to Yiu, the team has expanded from an initial 50 people prior to the pandemic to a 900-person team as of December. Yiu stated that she expects that number to double by the end of the year.

“As case numbers have increased exponentially over the past six weeks it has become more and more difficult for our teams to keep up with demand,” she said during the press conference.

“Added focus has been placed on increasing the number of contact tracers we have provincially, and we are rapidly increasing our response to the unprecedented volume of COVID-19 cases in the province.”

Yiu said that once that 1,800 mark is reached, Alberta will have 36 contact tracers per 100,000 residents, which is on par or exceeds that of other Canadian provinces.

She said that AHS is currently in the process of onboarding 500 additional staff, and that the organization has been in talks with local companies, post-secondary universities, and businesses such as WestJet and Stats Canada to open up applications.

Yiu also noted that qualified applicants can apply online by going to the Alberta Health Services’ careers page.

“We appreciate the overwhelming outreach from many Albertans who want to help with contact tracing, and encourage any interested to visit and apply for an open position.”

AHS is hiring for both part-time and full-time positions, and the job posting shows that successful applicants will “require advanced administrative or specialized skills and knowledge to support complex procedures, practices and initiatives within a department or program.”

Contact tracers are paid between $27.55 and $33.50 an hour, according to the posting.