School of Medicine students volunteer for COVID-19 contact tracing

Students at the Springfield Clinical Campus volunteered in December to aid the local health department.

students socially distanced wearing masks

Feb. 18, 2021

Medical students at the University of Missouri School of Medicine’s Springfield Clinical Campus (SCC) volunteered in December to aid the local health department in collecting contact tracing data for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“It was so interesting to have the chance to help and observe public health professionals with this epidemiological project,” said Evan Garrad, a third-year medical student studying at the Springfield Clinical Campus.

Garrad volunteered to help along with Wyatt Whitman, Tricia Haynes and Spencer Price. The medical students were ideal volunteers because of their experience with talking to patients and respecting patient privacy.

The student volunteers set up a temporary call center at the Springfield Clinical Campus building. They called the families of local K-12 students who had come in contact with other COVID-19-positive students. They gathered information from students about the mitigation strategies at their schools and if they wore masks and maintained safe social distances in public.

“We have some amazing medical students, and I think it says a lot that they would willingly volunteer their evenings and weekends to help with contact tracing,” said David Haustein, associate dean of the Springfield Clinical Campus. “This is a great learning opportunity for our students and one of the ways we hope to support our community through the continuing pandemic.”

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