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Mayor ramps up contact-tracing efforts in New Haven, expects coronavirus cases to significantly rise in coming weeks

New Haven

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — Mayor Justin Elicker reported Thursday the cases of COVID-19 in New Haven continue to rise, so he and the health department are ramping up their efforts with contact-tracing to prevent further spread.

Thursday he said the Elm City now has 859 confirmed cases and 23 deaths. The mayor says 14 of those cases are withing the fire department, and six are police officers.

Mayor Elicker says we can expect the number of cases to rise significantly in the next couple of weeks as testing ramps up. But it’s not necessarily an indicator of how the virus is spreading.

“I want to warn the press,” he said, “we’ll be testing more people, identifying more people that have the virus.”

In the face of the expected surge, the Health Department says they are looking ahead to the next few weeks and how their response might change. One of those efforts is ramping up contract-tracing to help stop the spread of the virus.

So far, there are 70 contact tracers – all volunteers – actively making phone calls in New Haven, and 90 additional volunteers are ready to go.

Medical officials in New Haven say the job of these tracers is to call anyone who may have been in contact with an infected person.

Health department officials say the volunteers must have a background in medicine of some kind, and the mayor says as long as you fulfill that, he’d take as many volunteers as will offer their time – however small.

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