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Contact Tracing Programs Are Crucial to Beating Coronavirus — but Some Cities are Struggling

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A low response rate and privacy concerns are barriers to effective large-scale contact tracing in places like New York City

From People Magazine by By Ally Mauch,  June 23, 2020 05:05 PM

As New York City enters its second phase of reopening amid the coronavirus pandemic, the city has hired 3,000 disease detectives and case monitors for contact tracing, but a recent report from The New York Times indicates that the tracing initiative is struggling.

Across the country, contact tracing programs are imperative to phased reopening plans, as outdoor dining, in-store shopping and office work resume. They allow officials to track who has the virus and prevent its spread.

However, in the New York City program's first two weeks, only 35 percent of the residents who tested positive for coronavirus or were presumed positive gave information about their close contacts to tracers.

In its third week, the numbers improved slightly to 42 percent, a spokesperson for New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said, according to the The New York Times.

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