CWU News

CWU, State Health Department Combine Efforts to Train 1,000 Contact Tracers

A partnership between Central Washington University Multimodal Learning and the Washington State Department of Health (DOH) has helped train more than 1,000 COVID-19 case investigators and contact tracers since last fall. Now, the two state institutions are considering ways they can work together on future initiatives.

First introduced in September, DOH’s remote case investigation and contact tracing training (CI/CT) program utilizes a separate “instance” of CWU’s Canvas education platform — apart from the one CWU students use — so the state can provide instruction to individuals who want to help protect people in their communities from COVID-19. 

Baker said she has been in contact with others at DOH who are interested in using Canvas for training purposes. She noted that Canvas is a common tool for most university students and recent graduates around the state — a fact that only adds to the appeal of working with CWU.

“It’s a pretty flawless system,” said Baker, who assumed a lead role on the project in November. “Many students are familiar with the Canvas platform, so they already know their way around. That makes it easier for us, too.”

While most of the benefits of using Canvas have been realized by DOH and the trainees, CWU Multimodal also has come out ahead. Prior to the partnership, the department had been looking for an opportunity to utilize the second instance of Canvas. Now, Director Joy Fuqua and her team are considering ways the university may be able to accommodate more remote training partners with the expanded platform.

“This partnership has been so successful that we would like to consider future training opportunities with the DOH and maybe others,” said Fuqua, who credited Canvas Administrator Delayna Breckon and Instructional Technologist Muneeb Mobashar for facilitating the project. “It’s been great to see state agencies working to solve problems with other state agencies.” ­


Media contact: David Leder, Department of Public Affairs,, 509-963-1518.