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COVID-19 Tracking Program Can’t Trace 80% Of Infections In New York City

New York City’s coronavirus tracking program cannot trace the origins of at least 80% of virus infections, Democratic Mayor Bill de Blasio recognized Tuesday.

Medical officials are able to pinpoint roughly 10% of cases as instances of outside the city travel and between 5% and 10% of infections are successfully traced to individual sources of spread, according to the New York Post. The low success rate leaves room for roughly 80% of COVID-19 cases to have an unknown origin, the Post reported.

“People want firm, specific answers and, understandably, we would like for things to be clear and neat and that’s just not what the coronavirus usually gives us,” de Blasio said, according to the Post. “We just don’t have sites or activities that led to anywhere near the number of cases you would think.”

“The challenge is how diffuse this is. And when it’s this diffuse it isn’t always as simple as, ‘oh, I went to a restaurant or I went to a gym’,” he added. “A lot of times there isn’t an obvious place because there’s a substantial amount of community spread.”

The city’s coronavirus tracing program, which employs 1,200 people, has been dubbed the Test and Trace Corps, according to the Post. The project asks virus-positive individuals for contact information on those who may have been exposed, but only around one-third of New Yorkers comply with the requests, the outlet reported.

Additionally, around 93,000 city residents have been approached by the Test and Trace Corps, but roughly 60% have completed the intake forms, according to the Post.

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