New York City to end COVID contact tracing program in April

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NEW YORK — New York’s main COVID-19 contact tracing program will end next month as cases continue to level off and vaccinations continue to increase, the health department said.

“Trace will end at the end of April – giving us a final eight weeks to complete your current work and prepare New Yorkers for the next phase as we learn to live with COVID,” said NYC Test Executive Director Dr. Ted Long. & Trace Corps, told staffers in an email obtained by The New York Times.

The email was reportedly sent on Monday, the same day the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued new guidelines stating that universal contact tracing was no longer recommended. Instead, health services are encouraged to focus on high-risk settings, such as long-term care facilities.

“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 interventions, while continuing to provide resources to New Yorkers,” New York City Health Commissioner Dr. Dave said. Chokshi said in a statement.

Chokshi noted that 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 city began its tracing program in June 2020, employing approximately 2,000 contact tracers to connect New Yorkers with resources to help them self-isolate after exposure to the virus, including free hotel rooms, free meals and other services.

When the primary tracing program ends in April, New Yorkers who test positive for COVID-19 will receive a text message about resources still available to them, including a new antiviral pill delivery program, according to the New York Times.

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