New York City’s COVID-19 contact tracing program will cease imminently as there has been a drastic improvement in coronavirus infection control.
As more people get vaccinated and new treatments are distributed to prevent serious illnesses, local health departments will no longer notify a person when they have been exposed to the virus by the end of April.
The COVID-19 contact tracing program should not end because a person should have the right to know when they have been in contact with an infected person.
“The city supports the CDC’s recommendations to reduce contact tracing in the future. As we enter a new phase of the pandemic, we must adapt our public health responses, while continuing to provide resources to New Yorkers,” said New York City Health Commissioner Dr. Dave Chokshi, in a statement.
As the pandemic wanes, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is advising people to start adapting to the changes happening in their environment. Essentially, country and state investigators will no longer be tracking every case, but will be distributing the supplies needed to fight the variants of COVID-19.
Chokshi said the health department will continue contact tracing in high-risk settings and offer resources to New Yorkers to help them “early identify if they have COVID-19 and safely isolate themselves.” safety if they are positive”.
The state will actively ensure that places such as hospitals, correctional facilities and shelters are promptly notified if they are exposed to the virus.
While it’s ethical to keep people in high-risk environments safe, it’s a shame that those in the workforce are being ignored in April.
People should be warned so they can protect their family members and those around them from being exposed as well.
The pandemic is far from over as it will remain so while everyone learns to adapt, manage and control cases. That being said, cases must be monitored at all times as ensuring everyone’s safety is essential.
People with pre-existing health conditions already feel like they are not recognized. The state must consider how damaging this could be for those who need to know immediately if they have been at risk of contracting the coronavirus.
“After the primary tracing program ends in late April, people who test positive will receive a text message about resources that can help, including a new antiviral pill delivery program,” according to the New York Times.
This leaves people wondering if this will be enough to prevent serious illness and hospitalization in immunocompromised people.
“Over 96% of adults in New York have received at least one dose of the vaccine,” he wrote to Tracers. “We have some very effective treatments, including a new oral medication that can be delivered same day to your home,” The New York Times reported.
New Yorkers have taken the necessary steps to contain COVID-19 and keep themselves and those around them safe.
As a collective, society should not want to step back and exacerbate another spread that can be detrimental to the lives of many people. Contact tracing programs must extend at least through the end of the year to safeguard the well-being of New Yorkers and anticipate months of unrest.