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NY doing away with contact tracing

New York Gov. Kathy Hochul said in a COVID-19 briefing Tuesday morning that it's "almost impossible to do contact tracing" with the amount of COVID-19 cases.

NEW YORK — As COVID-19 cases continue to surge in New York State and across the U.S., Governor Kathy Hochul says the state will be changing its approach to contact tracing.

In a COVID-19 briefing Tuesday morning, Hochul and New York's Acting Department of Health Commissioner Dr. Mary Bassett announced that the state is stepping away from contact tracing, instead moving to self-management. Bassett says this change will allow state and local health department staff to focus their efforts on COVID-19 testing and vaccinations.

With this change, if someone tests positive for COVID-19, Hochul says they should not expect a call from their local health department. Instead, they will be expected to follow the state's quarantine and isolation guidance, which will be readily available online.

The state plans on implementing this plan on Wednesday morning. Bassett says New York will be providing more guidance on this topic for the public and employers then.

Hochul says that counties will be given the option to continue contact tracing, but it will not be required.

"This is in response to their request, given that we have 12,000 new cases a day. It is almost impossible to do contact tracing the way we have been in the past," Hochul said.