NYC to wind down most coronavirus contact tracing

March 2, 2022 GMT

NEW YORK (AP) — New York City’s coronavirus contact tracing program will end its universal tracing efforts toward the end of the next month, with officials citing a significant caseload drop, high vaccination rates and new treatments as the rationale.

“Having these strong protections in place defines a new phase in the pandemic where we can learn to live with COVID,” said Dr. Ted Long, executive director of NYC Test & Trace Corps, in an email sent to workers on Monday.

The city’s email came after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued guidance on Monday that said universal contact tracing was not recommended.

Officials said the universal tracing program would end in 8 weeks; contact tracing in high-risk congregate settings like nursing homes would continue under the auspices of the city’s health department.

The city started its tracing program in June 2020, after the initial COVID surge, and remained committed to what seems to have been the biggest effort among U.S. cities even after other locales scaled back.