COVID-19: NYC Quote of the Day 2020-07-23

Thursday, July 23, 2020, NYC Test and Trace Corps. Director, Ted Long - 17,000 New Cases, 17,000 New Contacts, 6,000 Paired with Resource Navigators Since June 1

I wanted to start by saying thank you to New Yorkers. Every time that you wear a mask when you go outside, every time that you stayed at home when you're sick, and every time that you pick up the phone when one of our tracers of the Test and Trace Corps calls, you've earned where we are right now with the lowest levels we've seen of coronavirus. Now, for the past month and a half, one thing that has not changed is that the levels have been low. One thing that has changed is the city is starting to wake up. You're going to work. Your office building is open. Construction is happening. You can go to the zoo. You can eat outside at a restaurant. And I'm proud to say that today, our rates of new cases of the coronavirus through all of those phases of reopening have not had an uptick whatsoever.

I'm going to start with telling you two of the key metrics that we strive towards. The first is, we need to be reaching 90 percent of all new people in New York City diagnosed with the coronavirus. Second, for 75 percent of all new cases, or people newly diagnosed with the coronavirus, we need to be completing intake with them and monitoring them so that we know that they're isolating, keeping themselves safe and keeping other New Yorkers safe. More than 6,000 New Yorkers we've paired with our resource navigators to give things like food delivery, help with medications, even help with eviction notices or paid sick leave. We want to help New Yorkers to keep New Yorkers safe.

Right now, we've reached 89 percent of all new coronavirus cases across New York City. 71 percent of people that we've reached have completed our intake process and we're monitoring, knowing that they're isolating. However, 64 percent of all new cases have completed our intake and are being monitored and we know are isolated. So, we have more work to do there, but we're going to do that work. To give you some raw numbers, the Test and Trace Corps has identified more than 17,000 new cases across New York City, and those new cases have given us more than 17,000 new contacts or people they have exposed to the coronavirus when they were infectious.

I want to drill down on one really important number today. There's a group of contacts or people that we know have been exposed to people newly diagnosed with the coronavirus that, by the time we call them, are actively symptomatic with symptoms consistent with coronavirus. If we hadn't called them, if we hadn't intervened, they would have gone out and they would have infected other New Yorkers. They may have gone out and infected one more New Yorker each. But our ability to intervene and to get them to isolate has potentially prevented thousands of new infections, assuming they infected one other New Yorker. Models have shown that one infectious person can infect 2.5 other people. If they'd gone out there and infected 2.5 other people each, then we've potentially prevented, by not allowing that to happen, more than 5,000 new cases of the coronavirus across New York City since our program began on June 1st. Our ability to use the program to intervene, to catch people early in their infectious state before they've even been tested is the reason we exist and the reason we're going to continue to work so hard to keep New York safe and to find people before they can infect other New Yorkers and give them what they need to get themselves and their families through this, with all of the resources brought to bear at our hands.
Edited for redundancy, grammar, and emphasis
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