Contact tracing the next step in battling back COVID-19 spread

New York continues to see about 1,000 new COVID-19 cases each day and contact tracers will soon be deployed to help stop the spread.

News 12 Staff

May 1, 2020, 9:34 PM

Updated 1,482 days ago

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New York continues to see about 1,000 new COVID-19 cases each day and contact tracers will soon be deployed to help stop the spread.
Rockland Executive Ed Day says the county utilized the contact tracing practice during the measles outbreak last year, and says it was an effective tool. They implemented it early on with coronavirus but were “absolutely overwhelmed” by the amount of cases.
“We had days where we had 600 cases at one time. We just didn’t have the resources," Day told News 12.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced this week the creation of a contact tracing pilot program that will begin in the coming weeks. It involves talking to COVID-19 patients and tracing back who they may have been in contact with. Then, those people isolate before spreading the virus further.
Contact tracing was already being utilized in countries like South Korea, which reported no new cases of COVID-19 on Thursday.
New York’s program is being spearheaded by former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg in conjunction with Johns Hopkins University and will focus on areas with high rates of infection.
The governor hopes to hire a contact tracing army of up to 17,000 people. The state will be hiring applicants with medical backgrounds, including SUNY and CUNY medical students. They will be trained and will need to pass an online exam to qualify for the job.
 


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