New York City Kovid-19 Contact Tracer Brace for Long Winter

New York City’s contact-tracing team Kovid-19 will be put to trial in winter amid a new boom in cases that are expected to continue through the holiday season.

While the introduction of Kovid-19 vaccines has given New Yorkers hope that the worst part of the epidemic will end in 2021, the city still has to navigate through a difficult winter. The seven-day average of New York City’s new and potential Kovid-19 cases has exceeded 3,000 for most of December, daily from about 250 new cases in early September.

Ted Long, executive director of the city’s Kovid-19 Test and Trace Corps, said his team was preparing for the moment. The duct added 1,000 members since the summer, and now has a total of 4,000 employees.

“We are employees, and we are ready to make all cases to grow,” Dr. Long said.

Contact tracing is one of the most important tools for public-health officials to curb the spread of Kovid-19. The city team at Contact Traverse keeps in touch with people who have tested positive for Kovid-19 and others who have been exposed to self-quarantine to protect others from getting sick. If they cannot isolate at home, they help people to access medical care and offer to keep people in hotels for free.

An activist from the New York City Test and Trace Corps gave masks and information at the Staten Island Ferry Terminal last month.


Brendan Mcdermid / Reuters

The city’s contact-tracing programs got off to a rocky start, but have improved. During the first few weeks of the program in June, half of the people reached by contact traverse completed the intake process, which includes answering a series of questions according to the Test and Trace team. Now three out of four people are completing the intake.

According to the test tracer team, only 35% of those contacted during the first two weeks of the program in June gave names and information, which they revealed. Now, 64% of people completing the intake process are sharing contact information and about 18% report they have no contact to share because they have not had a meaningful in-person interaction recently, Drs. Long said.

Dr. Long said his team focused on hiring contact trailers, which are used by people living in neighborhoods to build trust in the communities they work with, to get more people to collaborate with contact tracing. Hit hard When they cannot access the phone by a person, they are deploying people for in-person contact tracing. And in city-run test facilities, there are tracers with hands-on contact to start the process if one tests fast and tests positive.

Robert Amler, dean of the School of Health Sciences and Practice at New York Medical College, said many of the results of the city’s test and trace team are impressive. He said that 64% of the people have a good response rate and compared to other diseases with severe outbreaks of other diseases. The percentage of people who completed the intake – about 75% of those reached – “very, very good”, he said.

While New York City has done well to reach individuals, the job may be tough in the coming weeks, said Amanda Castel, a professor in the Department of Epidemiology at the Milken Institute of Public Health at George Washington University.

“As we move forward in the epidemic, I think what we are seeing is that some of Kovid’s fatigue that we see in people’s behaviors, about what we are able to do and their ability to reach individuals Looking to get full information. Contacts and to reach those contacts, “said Dr. Castel.

Mayor Bill de Blasio said New York City public schools would be closed from Thursday and switch to distance education altogether. The person in the city met the 3% Kovid-19 seven-day average positivity rate threshold for stopping instruction. (Originally published on November 18.) Photo: Wang Ying / Xinhua / Zuma Press

Other parts of the triangular state area are already grappling with this aspect. In New Jersey, about 80% of people reached out to people they contacted, refusing to provide the names and information of people who were potentially in contact with Kovid-19.

Continuously increasing the transition rate will also be a challenge while increasing the workload for the city’s contact tracing team. Jackie Bray, deputy executive director of the Test and Trace Corps of New York City, said the program began in the summer to avoid getting hired and running trains during the second surge.

“They said they’ve got months of work under their belt, and they’re really ready when we have too many cases, and the systems we’re using are under more stress,” Ms. Brey said.

Casey De Pont, who is 35, said she was recently approached by the city’s liaison-tracing team after attending a backyard gathering in Brooklyn where a person later posed positive for the Kovid-19 Did the test. After her initial phone call with the contact tracer, she later received a care package from the contact-tracing program that included hand sanitizers and masks as well as an at-home Kovid-19 test kit.

By the time she receives the care package, Ms. de Pont has already tested negative in two Kovid-19 tests and does not have to use the test at home. She said she needed a test in the future, she said.

Ms de Pont said she was happy to collaborate with the liaison instructors and that it is important for the public to share the liaison if they are potentially exposed to Kovid-19.

“I could understand how it sounds offensive, but we are expanding the circumstances right now,” Ms. de Pont said. “So there are some things that are uncomfortable, you just have to do.”

Write Joseph D. Avila at [email protected]

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