New York – New York City's efforts to curb the spread of coronavirus through contact tracing have been affected by the reluctance of many people who are infected with the viruses to provide information to trackers, according to a report published in the newspaper "The New York Times" .
The Times report noted that just 35% of the 5,347 city residents who they tested positive for the virus or are believed to have tested positive in the first two weeks of the contact tracking program and gave information about their close contacts.
Perry N. Halkitis, dean of the Rutgers University School of Public Health, said that the 35% rate of contact collection was "pretty bad" .
"For each person, you should be in contact with 75% of their contacts within a day" he commented Halkitis to the Times.
The Doctor Te d Long, director of New York City's new Test and Tracking Corps, defended the program on Sunday and said 69% of people who complete an interview provide contacts. "We think it's a good start, but we also want to increase that number," he told The Associated Press.
Long said the 35% figure cited by the Times represents a percentage of all people who hit the trackers, and some of those people, including those who did not develop symptoms of COVID-19 for weeks, have no relevant contacts to provide.
He believes the program, which started on June 1, will be more successful when trackers start coming to people's homes in the next week or two, instead of relying on the phone.