Posts tagged with "Epicenter"

New York City partners with Salesforce on COVID-19 contact tracing program

May 11, 2020

New York City—the epicenter of the coronavirus pandemic in the United States, with over 26,000 deaths from the disease and more than 55,500 recoveries  celebrated—is partnering with san Francisco-based Salesforce, to build the city’s COVID-19 contact tracing program, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced on May 8.

Salesforce will deploy a call center as well as a customer relationship and case management system that will help the city to track people who have had contact with those who have tested positive for the virus—and isolate them before they become sick, according to a report by CNBC.

De Blasio explained that the city is implementing a “test and trace corps” that will be tasked with testing New Yorkers for the infection.  The partnership will be “up and running” by the end of May, he said.

“It will allow us to track every case, analyze the data constantly, keep the right information on each and every case, manage the whole process efficiently,” de Blasio said. “This is going to be a huge effort, just think how it grows and grows over the weeks, but it’s something that if we do right continually will constrain this disease.”

The goal is to hire 2,500 public health “foot soldiers” by June, who will be trained using the contact tracing program led by Mike Bloomberg in partnership with Johns Hopkins University. There have been nearly 7,000 applications for the program already, de Blasio said.

A spokesperson for Salesforce confirmed the company’s partnership to CNBC, but didn’t provide any further details.

In late April, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo tapped Bloomberg to head the state’s contact tracing program. Bloomberg said his team is developing three smartphone apps to help the state trace every person who comes into contact with someone infected with Covid-19.

Cuomo has said the state will need to hire at least 30 contact tracers per 100,000 people in order to begin reopening the state’s economy, CNBC noted.

Research contact: @CNBC

Absent clear federal guidance on COVID-19, the nation’s governors come to the rescue

March 27, 2020

The coronavirus crisis is a dark cloud, but even this modern plague has a silver lining: Americans at the state and local levels are finding ways to link arms and handle it themselves, The Wall Street Journal reports.

Indeed, absent a federal focus on the health of Americans, rather than on the vitality of the economy, the nation’s governors have taken up the cause. Among those who have assumed leadership during the U.S. emergency are two Republicans— Mike DeWine of Ohio and Charlie Baker of Massachusetts—and three Democrats—Andrew Cuomo of New York, Gavin Newsom of California, and J.B. Pritzker of Illinois.

Indeed, Cuomo is even being hyped as a shoo-in for the presidential nomination—replacing Joe Biden at a brokered Democratic Convention.

On March 22, for example, amid continuing mixed messages from the White House and Congress about the severity of the problem, a handful of governors took decisive action to effectively close bars and restaurants to slow the spread of the disease.

In the opinion of the Journal, “the most effective leader in the nation so far, in fact, may be … DeWine of Ohio”—chosen by the new outlet because, “He was among the first to ban large public gatherings and order schools closed. He declared that NCAA basketball tournament games scheduled for his state would have to be played without fans in the stands; within days, the NCAA followed by canceling the entire tournament.”

The Journal notes, “Initially, [Governor] DeWine appeared to be overreacting; today, he looks prescient.”

For his part, New York’s Governor Cuomo has relentlessly campaigned to receive funding and mandated manufacturing for the countless numbers of respirators, ventilators, and hospital beds that his state—the current U.S. epicenter of the virus—will need, if the healthcare community is not to be overwhelmed.

Citizens seem to have noticed. In a new Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll released Sunday, Americans were asked who they have confidence in to handle the coronavirus. About half said President Trump, 62% said the federal government and 72% said their local government. The largest share—75%—said they had confidence in their state government.

Meantime, other institutions also are helping fill the void. Churches are making their own decisions about telecasting services so their flocks don’t have to gather; mayors are setting policies on public gatherings; businesses are developing new workplace protocols.

Still, there are limits to this grassroots coping. Active as others might be, the coronavirus crisis also serves as a reminder that there remain vital tasks only the federal government can perform.

The most important voice in guiding state and local leaders in their decisions has come from Washington, D.C., the Journal says—but it is not the president. It belongs to Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.

“Only the federal government can devise a plan to ensure that all Americans who need a test for the coronavirus can get one—a task that Dr. Fauci acknowledges it has failed at so far,” the Journal says.

Research contact: @WSJ