Both Boston University and Northeastern are looking to hire nurses, lab technicians, medical assistants and contact tracers as part of their ambitious plans to test thousands of students, professors and staff every day come this fall.
They're also looking for people to coordinate care for students ordered into isolation dorm rooms if they test positive and for people who can look at testing data and recognize potential Covid-19 spikes and clusters.
BU has announced plans to conduct up to 5,000 Covid-19 tests a day and to analyze them in a lab its setting up. Everybody who regularly spends time on campus will be required to take a test once a week.
Northeastern says it is gearing up to test 2,500 to 5,000 people daily, with the ability to increase that if needed, and that all students living on campus this fall will be required to take a test when they arrive, followed by additional tests at "regular" intervals.
Recent state numbers show that if the two schools do 10,000 tests a day, they would more than double the total number of tests done statewide on most days.
Daily statewide test numbers, starting on June 13 (black line shows cumulative number of tests; source):
Both schools say they are setting aside dorms to house students who test positive - 500 rooms in Northeastern's case.
In its job postings, Northeastern says it will be doing testing seven days a week, and indicates it's not expecting a vaccine or cure anytime soon: The new jobs will run at least a year, with "the possibility of renewal depending on funding and business need." One position, for a lab technician at the Northeastern facility in Burlington that will analyze all the swabs from on-campus testing sites, is for 18 months.
Another one of Northeastern's listed positions is for a contact tracing manager:
The Contact Tracing Manager will oversee the contact tracing activities of students, faculty, and staff at Northeastern University. The aim of this campus wide initiative will be to call contacts of each person diagnosed with COVID-19, gather information on the contacts, and provide social distancing/quarantine/isolation recommendations and information on testing, seeking medical assistance, ongoing monitoring, and available resources as needed.
BU has similar openings, as well as one for people to work with students put in isolation:
The Isolation Unit Specialists will serve as an on-site contact for students housed in campus isolation units due to positive COVID-19 results. This Specialist will provide support to these residents including daily check-ins via telehealth (video, phone, text) and ensure students have adequate supplies. Specialists will provide timely communication with key partners to ensure the health and safety of these residential students.
BU is also hiring a Covid-19 communications manager to "provide pertinent communications" to BU's Covid-19 team and to work with the school's public-relations department on news for "broader audiences."