ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — State health officials say New York will no longer require local health departments to conduct contact tracing for people who test positive for COVID-19. Health Commissioner Mary Bassett said Tuesday the shift will help public health staff across New York focus on testing and vaccination. Democratic Gov. Kathy Hochul added that the spike in COVID-19 cases complicates contact tracing. The tracing involves calling those who test positive to identify exposed people. She said counties can now decide whether they want to trace people. Hochul’s proposed regulation to mandate boosters for health care workers was also approved by a state health council Tuesday.
Photo: FILE — In this Aug. 6. 2020, file photo, Joseph Ortiz, a contact tracer with New York City’s Health + Hospitals battling the coronavirus pandemic, uses his tablet to gather information as he heads to a potential patient’s home, in New York. (AP Photo/John Minchillo, File)