COVID-19: New York City to hire 1,000 'disease detectives'

'If you're ready to lend your talents to this fight, we need you right away,' NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio said

COVID-19: New York City to hire 1,000 'disease detectives'

New York City is looking to jumpstart its massive coronavirus tracing across communities by hiring an additional 1,000 healthcare workers next month.

With New York now the global epicentre of the COVID-19 outbreak, the city is calling on experienced healthcare workers who will serve as “disease detectives” investigating every new case of infection, according to Mayor Bill de Blasio.

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“If you’re ready to lend your talents to this fight, we need you and we need you right away. We are hiring immediately and we’ll be hiring throughout the month of May,” de Blasio told reporters at a news conference.

The additional workforce will function as a massive “contact tracing network” interviewing subjects and analysing all points of contact between a confirmed COVID-positive patient and members of their community. The healthcare workers will also assist patients as they undergo quarantine.

“Every time someone tests positive, immediately we can swing into action, figure out who were their close contacts and get those people tested to isolate anyone who needs isolation,” the mayor said.

Qualified workers may submit their application through the nonprofit group Fund for Public Health.

READ MORE: COVID-19: How the world is caring for frontline workers

Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg is also throwing his support to the widescale test-and-trace initiative of the current leadership.

Bloomberg, who is also a billionaire philanthropist, will design the program and pledge “upwards of US$10m” in funding, according to the office of New York Governor Andrew Cuomo.

“Finally getting testing on a large scale, tracing people, isolating everyone who needs it – doing that is the path forward,” de Blasio said.

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