Contact Tracing Plan For NJ: What We Know Now – MyVeronaNJ | Instant News

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That is seen as an important pillar in the plan to reopen New Jersey and could involve employing at least 5,000 people at a cost that can reach $ 5 million per week, but significant details about the status of the contact tracking program are still at least another week.

Governor Phil Murphy on Monday urged patience about plans to form a contact-tracking corps and said his administration was expected to provide additional details about the initiative in seven to 10 days.

Contact tracking is very important as the country moves into Phase Two of the reopening strategy in the coming weeks, with restaurants offering outdoor dining, hair salons welcoming customers, and quarantine-weary people flocking to parks and beaches, amid concerns among experts that the virus can ignite once again.

The contact tracing process involves identifying and tracking all people who have made contact with someone diagnosed with COVID-19, informing them of the risks and connecting them to a safe place to be isolated, if necessary, to help reduce the amount of virus spread.

Murphy stressed the importance when he first outlined a broad strategy for reopening New Jersey’s business and public space in late April. The work requires individuals who can be culturally connected with the people they are calling, and the governor has underlined the need to hire trackers from the local community.

Contact tracking labor
Two weeks later, in mid-May, the state was released limited details about his plans to expand COVID-19 testing, contact tracking and follow-up services, which according to Murphy would cost “hundreds of millions of dollars.” They include proposals for hiring companies to create and oversee contact tracking workers, who will be deployed to equip 800 to 900 contact trackers who now work on behalf of the local or district health department. The draft includes wage scales for these workers ranging from $ 25 per hour for trackers to $ 30 per hour for 21 regional coordinators.

In an announcement in May, Murphy stressed testing was only part of the solution. “We also need to have the infrastructure to fully follow up on the test, and to reach those who may be exposed to COVID-19 by someone who tests positive in the future,” he said.

On Tuesday, COVID-19 was detected in almost 162,000 New Jersey People, including nearly 11,800 who have died.

“In fact, contact tracing doesn’t only happen during this emergency, it’s a practice that has been used in other efforts to combat infectious diseases. “The only thing that is different from instances and today is the scope and scale,” Murphy said. “In other words, we have to use contact tracking as never before.”

New Details
Here’s a view, then, of what is now known about contact search efforts:

It will build on existing work: Contact tracing is an old practice used by epidemiologists to control the spread of infectious conditions such as HIV / AIDS and sexually transmitted diseases and has traditionally been treated exclusively at the local or regional level, according to draft guideline for potential contractors. But some local health offices – which usually handle problems ranging from restaurant inspections to local flu outbreaks and having limited staff and financial resources – have been overwhelmed by the additional workload created by the pandemic.

State officials signed an agreement with the Rutgers School of Public Health to use new graduates as part of this search corps. They also consulted with leaders in four regional health centers, a coalition that has developed from data sharing projects designed to improve care for individuals in Camden, Trenton, Newark and Paterson.

This will tap the tracker that reflects the community: Although it is not clear whether and how this is hub To be used, those involved say they have a deep-rooted community partnership that can enable countries to find contact tracers who share their culture and background that they need to reach.

“You have to be able to find (contact tracers) who can gain the trust of the community,” said Gregory Paulson, president and CEO of the Trenton Health Team, a hub based in Mercer County. “We look forward to working with the country when they begin this process.”

That could require thousands of people and tens of millions of dollars: Estimates vary widely and depend on the number of people who test positive, but Murphy first suggested the state might need to employ as many as 7,000 additional contact trackers. When the draft guidelines came out in May, anticipated needs had been reduced to between 1,000 and 5,000 trackers.

The draft proposal also envisages employing 50 to 250 supervisors, depending on staff level, as well as at least one data manager, social support coordinator, and program coordinator in each of the 21 states.

Wages can range between $ 1.13 million and $ 5.37 million every week, if paid on the scale imagined.

This will require outside help: The plan also calls on countries to hire companies, or joint ventures, which will recruit trackers and other staff, work with local non-profit organizations and other groups to ensure they represent the local community. The entity will then train these workers, provide technology if needed, send them to support local departments as needed, monitor and manage benefits for workers, and ensure that all data is entered correctly into the shared system.

Murphy also signed an executive order requiring all trackers to use the same web-based platform and the state had contracted with two companies to create a centralized database and a uniform reporting system.

This will be more important when New Jersey reopens: The rate of new cases in New Jersey has generally tended to decline since April 22, but hundreds of additional COVID-19 cases are still found every day. Plus, the testing capacity continues to grow, which means more people will be diagnosed with the virus.

“Implementing a strong contact tracing program is a key mechanism for breaking the chain of transmission and slowing the spread of communities for individuals who have made contact with those infected with COVID-19,” the country said in a May 12 press release outlining its intentions. .

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