Students Help Public Health Officers with Contact Tracing

The University Library is unusually busy these days, because a part of it has been transformed into a call centre. Students of Tomas Bata University in Zlín have been intensively participating in helping public health officers. They call the relatives, acquaintances, colleagues and other contact persons of those people who have had a positive test result for COVID-19. A similar call centre operates also at the Faculty of Logistics and Crisis Management in Uherské Hradiště.

“We agreed on such a form of help with the Regional Public Health Authority in Zlín practically immediately. We contacted our students through social networking sites and they reacted very flexibly. I am greatly delighted to see that students are ready to offer assistance, particularly in these difficult times of distance learning,” said Prof. Vladimír Sedlařík, TBU Rector.

The call centre operates daily in a two-shift working pattern in Zlín as well as in Uherské Hradiště. Twenty students work in each shift. Other volunteers are being trained.

“It is an enormous help, we greatly appreciate it, since it is a huge contribution for the entire Zlín Region. The staff of public health authorities are overloaded with work, therefore any help is greatly welcome,” added Eva Sedláčková, Director of the Regional Public Health Authority of the Zlín Region.

“I am a student of the degree course in General Nurse at the Faculty of Humanities. I really enjoy this opportunity; and what’s more, we are provided with valuable experience and practical training. I go there every day. We trace contacts according to a database that is available to us. Some people are surprised, others have already been informed about the possible need to quarantine,” described Nikola Kocourková, student of TBU.

All volunteers have been carefully trained; they contact up to 200 people a day by telephone. They ask about their health status or fill in the request form for testing. The University call centre will operate for as long as required.