States

Contact Tracing Is Failing in Many States. Here’s Why.

In Arizona’s most populated region, the coronavirus is so ubiquitous that contact tracers have been unable to reach a fraction of those infected.

In Austin, Texas, the story is much the same. Just as it is in North Carolina, where the state’s health secretary recently told state lawmakers that its tracking program was hiring outside workers to keep up with a steady rise in cases, as a number of other states have done.

Cities in Florida, another state where Covid-19 cases are surging, have largely given up on tracking cases. Things are equally dismal in California. And in New York City’s tracing program, workers complained of crippling communication and training problems.

Contact tracing, a cornerstone of the public health arsenal to tamp down the coronavirus across the world, has largely failed in the United States; the virus’s pervasiveness and major lags in testing have rendered the system almost pointless.

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States Must Standardize Coronavirus Data, Former C.D.C. Director Says

As criticism of the Trump administration’s response to the coronavirus pandemic intensifies, a former director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Tuesday called on state health officials to start reporting coronavirus data in a detailed and uniform fashion, rather than the disorganized hodgepodge most states now produce.

Other public health experts said that such guidelines were long overdue and that the agency’s current director, Dr. Robert Redfield, should have mandated them months ago.

The lack of clear C.D.C. guidance — even on simple issues like data collection — was an example of the administration’s ineptitude and ineffective leadership in the face of a growing crisis, experts said.

“We have a real vacuum of leadership at the national level,” said Dr. Thomas R. Frieden, the former C.D.C. director, who now runs Resolve to Save Lives, a nonprofit health advocacy initiative.

“Absent a national strategy, our best hope is

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Coronavirus Cases: Live Updates on States, Countries and More

The C.D.C. says the number of people infected ‘far exceeds the number of reported cases’ in parts of the U.S.

The number of people infected with the coronavirus in different parts of the United States is anywhere from two to 13 times higher than the reported rates for those regions, according to data released Tuesday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The findings suggest that large numbers of people who did not have symptoms or did not seek medical care may have kept the virus circulating in their communities. The study is the largest of its kind to date, although a subset of the data was released last month.

“These data continue to show that the number of people who have been infected with the virus that causes Covid-19 far exceeds the number of reported cases,” Dr. Fiona Havers, the C.D.C. researcher who led the study, said in

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Coronavirus Live Updates: Some States Halt Reopenings and Indoor Dining as Cases Surge

The pandemic struck the Caribbean at the height of high season, when snow birds, primarily from the United States, pack the beaches for winter and spring break, and provide the revenue to see resorts and sometimes entire countries through the lull of summer and fall.

Now, as the region begins to reopen to international travelers, it faces not just the challenge of the pandemic, but the financial blow dealt by the absence of cruising and the onset of hurricane season.

Excluding Guyana, the Caribbean economy is expected to contract by 3 percent in 2020, according to the World Bank.

“We’re not fooling ourselves. We fully expect to see a slow return of travel,” said Frank Comito, the chief executive and director general of the Caribbean Hotel & Tourism Association, which represents 33 national hotel associations in the region.

As countries reopen, most are mandating face masks indoors and social distancing.

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