Bloomberg's foundation to help launch contact tracing program in NY

New York City's billionaire former mayor is putting up $10.5 million to help the New York state track and stem the spread of coronavirus through what's known as contact tracing.

Michael Bloomberg said Thursday his Bloomberg Philanthropies charitable foundation will help hire and train thousands of investigators and provide technological assistance, including developing apps to aid their work.

Contact tracing involves tracking down people who've been around someone with the virus so they can get tested and quarantine themselves if they're positive.

Bloomberg made his announcement during Gov. Andrew Cuomo's daily coronavirus briefing on Thursday. The former mayor appeared via videoconference.

Cuomo said that the state's tracing program will focus on areas with the highest rates of infection and on regions where the numbers suggest could be the first to open.


"When social distancing is relaxed, contract tracing is our best hope for isolating the virus when it appears and keeping it isolated," Bloomberg said. "The governor recognizes that and since Bloomberg Philanthropies has deep experience and expertise in public health, we're glad to support the state in developing and implementing a contact tracing program."

The program will partner with several entities to train, coordinate, and manage people to carry out the tracing.

"As tough as these times are, we are New Yorkers, and we've been through a lot together, and we're going to get through this together again," Bloomberg said.



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