Over the two last weeks, Mayor Bill de Blasio and others have voiced concerns that packed police brutality protests across the city could trigger a new wave of COVID-19 infections.
Whether or not that’s the case, however, remains unknown — and de Blasio’s team won’t be directly trying to find out.
The hundreds of contact tracing workers hired by the city under de Blasio’s new “test and trace” campaign have been instructed not to ask anyone who’s tested positive for COVID-19 whether they recently attended a demonstration, City Hall confirmed to THE CITY.
“No person will be asked proactively if they attended a protest,” Avery Cohen, a spokesperson for de Blasio, wrote in an emailed response to questions by THE CITY.
Instead, test-and-trace workers ask COVID-positive individuals general questions to help them “recall ‘contacts’ and individuals they may have exposed,” Cohen said. Among the initial questions: “Do you live with anyone in your home?”
Tracers then ask about “close contacts” — defined as being within six feet of another person for at least 10 minutes.
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