Requires that COVID-19 contact tracers be representative of the cultural and linguistic diversity of the communities in which they serve to the greatest extent practicable; and provides for the repeal of such provisions upon the expiration thereof.
NEW YORK STATE ASSEMBLY MEMORANDUM IN SUPPORT OF LEGISLATION submitted in accordance with Assembly Rule III, Sec 1(f)
BILL NUMBER: A10447a
SPONSOR: Rules (Joyner)
TITLE OF BILL:
An act in relation to requiring that COVID-19 contact tracers be repre-
sentative of the cultural and linguistic diversity of the communities in
which they serve to the greatest extent possible; and providing for the
repeal of such provisions upon the expiration thereof
SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS:
Section 1. Requires New York City agencies as well as New York City
Health and Hospitals that hire new persons to perform contact tracing
pertaining to Covid-19 infections within New York City to hire residents
who are representative of the cultural and linguistic diversity of the
communities in which they serve to the greatest extent practicable.
Section 2. Requires covered entities to annually report to the Governor
and legislature on contract tracer worker- diversity and actions taken
to recruit a diverse workforce.
Section 3. Establishes an immediate effective date and a repeal date of
January 1, 2022.
Epidemiologists have estimated a need for over 130,000 contact tracers
nationwide as the next stages of the battle against Covid-19 unfold.
Contact tracers provide the essential service of notifying and isolating
potentially exposed individuals as Covid-19 positive cases are discov-
ered. With proper training, individuals with varied basic skills can
quickly and effectively begin the work of contact tracing.
The Bronx has disproportionately been impacted by both Covid-19 positive
cases as well as employment displacement caused by the Covid-19
response, it is important that the Bronx is deeply involved in the next
stage of our borough's recovery, and is similarly important for neigh-
borhood involvement across the five boroughs. According to recent
census figures, 55% of Bronx residents speak a language other than
English at home and 34% were born in a country outside of the United
States. Queens similarly is home to 56% of its residents speaking a
non-English language at home and upwards of 48% of residents born in
Familiarity with varied languages and cultural practices is an imper-
ative for generating the trust necessary to facilitate information shar-
ing concerning persons and places visited, which contact tracers rely on
to effectively minimize population exposure and alert those that should
As New York City rolls out contact tracing programs, they should prior-
itize recruiting representative residents as contact tracers as a means
to both distribute employment opportunity equitably and provide effi-
cient epidemiological services to our many communities.
FISCAL IMPLICATIONS FOR STATE AND LOCAL GOVERNMENTS:
This act shall take effect immediately and shall expire and be deemed
repealed January 1, 2022.