NYLPI Drives Home Need for COVID-19 Contact Tracers from Hardest-Hit Communities

October 2, 2020

Coronavirus, Media Coverage, News

In the midst of COVID-19 outbreaks in Hasidic communities, City & State interviewed NYLPI Legal Director Hayley Gorenberg about the mismatch between New York City’s contact tracer job qualifications and what’s needed to do the job well. Since spring NYLPI has pressed the case for hiring from the most affected communities and hewing to health authorities like the World Health Organization, which note that extensive educational and professional qualifications are not needed. At this week’s City Council oversight hearing, officials confirmed a maximum of five Yiddish speakers in the contact tracer corps of more than 3,600. “The core, the key, the grail to contact tracing is being able to build trust and rapport so that people will turn over sensitive information in a scary situation for them,” Gorenberg said. “So we need to have people from the communities that are most directly affected to be able to have communication (with contact tracers) and have it be successful and make a program like this work the way it needs to work.”

Read the full story on City & State. Additional coverage can be read on The Chief.

Read Hayley’s testimony here.

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