Two environmental health students, Isabella Anderson and Kellsie Freeman, are currently working on their internship projects at the Will County Health Department. Part of their work is to perform COVID-19 trace calls within Will County.

“First, we participated in a training session by the Epidemiologist Team at the Will County Health Department. After which we were given Coronavirus Novel 2019 case reports to make trace calls and gather data. The paperwork we were given has a unique case number, as well as general information on the patient. It is our responsibility to call each case and figure out their disease onset date, diagnosis date, and symptoms. We then go into detail about their treatment, laboratory tests, contacts, travel history, exposure history, and epidemiological data,” said Freeman and Anderson via email.

Their work helps manage the pandemic. With the information they collected, the epidemiologist at the Will County Health Department will be able to better understand the trends and significance of COVID-19 cases in Will County.

“During these phone calls, we educated the community about proper isolation to keep their family and friends safe. Conducting these phone calls was challenging at first, but like anything in life we improvised, adapted, and overcame. We have found it fulfilling to be a part of this global issue and to continue our learning in Public Health.”

Both Anderson and Freeman will be graduating this summer after their internship. A total of 16 environmental health students are taking internships this summer. Their work is essential to protect our community.