Former NYC Mayor Bloomberg volunteers to develop testing/tracing/isolation program in tri-state

New York is also partnering with John Hopkins University and Vital Strategies to build a "Tracing Army."

News 12 Staff

Apr 22, 2020, 3:11 PM

Updated 1,498 days ago

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(AP) - Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Wednesday he’s enlisted former Mayor Mike Bloomberg to help create a “tracing army” that will find infected people and get them into isolation.

New York will work on the massive effort with neighboring New Jersey and Connecticut. Wide-scale testing, tracing and isolation are considered crucial to taming the outbreak in the hard-hit New York City region.
MORE: LIVE BLOG - Coronavirus updates from the tri-state area and beyond 
TRACKER: New York, New Jersey, Connecticut coronavirus cases and deaths
 

“It all has to be coordinated. There is no tracing that can work with one jurisdiction,” Cuomo said at his daily briefing.
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The governor said that “we will literally need thousands” of people to trace the contacts of infected people.
The state currently has 225 tracers with almost 500 more in New York City and its suburbs. He said they will look at drawing from 35,000 medical field students at state and city universities.

The governor offered few details, but said Johns Hopkins University also would be involved.

Speaking shortly before Cuomo outlined his tracing plan, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio outlined what he called a test-and-trace plan that he said would be run by the city. The mayor said once widespread testing for the virus is available the city will need as many as 5,000 to 10,000 contact tracers including city workers and employees of nonprofit groups that work with the city.

With 474 COVID-19-related deaths on Tuesday, New York state has now recorded more than 15,000 since the outbreak began last month.

The state figures do not include another 4,865 “probable” deaths in New York City that haven’t been confirmed by a lab test.
Briefing Notes:
  • It's been 53 days since New York was shut down.
  • "We're not home yet, but we are in a better place."
  • Hospitalizations and intubations remain down.
  • There were 474 deaths related to COVID-19 yesterday.
  • "This is a profound moment in history...What we do today, you will see the results in...just a few days."
  • Gov. Cuomo says his visit to the White House was a "productive visit." He says they spoke truth and put a plan in place to go forward.
  • Gov. Cuomo on political tensions with President Trump: "Who really cares how I feel or how he feels? Get the job done. We're not setting up a possible marriage here." 
  • On latest aid package: "Congress must insist that [state funding] is in the bill."
  • President Trump agreed to waive fees related to FEMA response in New York. 
  • Gov. Cuomo goes over plan to bring 40,000 tests per day to New York. Testing. Tracing. Isolate.
  • Gov. Cuomo says former Mayor Michael Bloomberg volunteered to help develop the first-ever testing, tracing, isolation program.
  • New York is also partnering with John Hopkins University and Vital Strategies to build a "Tracing Army."
  • Gov. Cuomo says Mayor Bloomberg will design the program, design the training, put forward a financial contribution, put together an organization that can hire people. "You don't have months to plan and do this. You have weeks. Super ambitious."
  • Bloomberg's financial contribution is upward to $10 million. Gov. Cuomo says there is more than $1 billion in federal funding for the tracing program. 
  • Gov. Cuomo says purchasing PPE and much-needed equipment from China is "madness."
PHOTOS: Countries around the world cope with COVID-19
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