New York City is about to launch the largest test and trace operation in the US.
Mayor Bill de Blasio announced on Friday that this was a key step in reopening the nation’s epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak.
During his daily briefing de Blasio said: “The New York City Test and Trace Corps is going to be a dedicated group of trained individuals who will lead the way in creating testing and tracing in a way we’ve never seen before in this city or this country,…….We want to find everyone who is positive and trace their close contacts”.
He added that the Corps, which is staffing up now, should be operational by June
The New York City Test and Trace Corps, will start with 1,000 trained medical professionals whose role will be to track down suspected cases of the disease, test New Yorkers and trace their recent contacts.
Pix 11 reports: A new team will handle the testing and contact tracing of coronavirus in New York City, called the Test and Trace Corps, a part of NYC Health + Hospitals.
“With every resource at our disposal, we are moving mountains to test and trace every New Yorker,” said de Blasio. “COVID-19 has challenged us in ways we never thought possible, but it’s no match for the ingenuity of our city.”
Positive tests would lead to the newly announced corps of workers to trace other people who’d been in contact with COVID-19-positive New Yorkers, and isolate them all.
It’s very similar to something else.
Back in March, Health Commissioner Dr. Oxiris Barbot described “disease detectives” — Department of Health workers who’ve done the same work the new testing and tracing corps will do.
And they’ve done it for years: for Ebola, MRSA, SARS, the measles.
But guess who was absent for the first time in memory from today’s briefing? Barbot, or anyone from the health department.
When asked why, de Blasio said responsibility ultimately rests on his shoulders.
He replaced the health department’s oversight for testing and tracing with the new entity, run by the city’s Health and Hospitals agency.
It runs 86 hospitals and other facilities, but has been plagued with financial and management problems in the last decade.
The head of that group, though, said in a statement the new team will allow for more testing.