March 15, 2022

End of universal contact tracing leading to 870+ healthcare layoffs in New York City

Editor's Note

According to a March 4 notice filed by NYC Test & Trace Corps, New York City's (NYC’s) initiative for COVID-19 testing and contact tracing, the city is ending universal contact tracing by the end of April, Becker’s Hospital Review March 10 reported. This means that NYC Health + Hospitals, which leads the testing and contact tracing program alongside NYC’s department of health and other agencies, is “planning to lay off 874 workers when the program scales back.”

This NYC testing and contact tracing program is scaling back after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reversed on February 28 its recommendation for universal contact tracing to contain the spread of COVID-19. Other factors such as increased vaccination rates reportedly also contributed to the end of universal tracing in the city. NYC Health + Hospitals said the affected workers will be laid off at the end of April alongside the termination of the program.

According to Crain’s New York Business, the CDC maintains its recommendation for “contact tracing in high-risk settings, such as long-term care facilities, jails, and prisons,” noted Becker’s.

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