Putnam Still Needs Contact Tracers

Volunteers required to meet ongoing reopening

The Putnam County Business Council has put out a call for volunteer contact tracers for the Mid-Hudson region’s anticipated eligibility for Phases 2, 3, and 4 of the state’s reopening plan.

The region, which includes Putnam and Dutchess counties, has met the criteria to begin Phase 1 of the reopening plan as of Tuesday (May 26). But the council’s Reopen Putnam County Safely task force said that it needs contact tracers to replace those who are returning to their jobs in Phase 1 industries.

The region needed more than 1,800 contact tracers in place to meet the Phase 1 metrics, including 84 from Putnam, said Jennifer Maher, who chairs the PCBC, in a statement. Putnam officials were initially told they would need 30 contract tracers based on the county’s population, but that criteria was later changed to reflect the rate of infection.

“Our Phase 2, 3 and 4 businesses need to be ready to reopen as soon as they are allowed to,” said Fran Murphy, a Village of Cold Spring trustee who is on the Reopen Putnam County Safely task force, in a statement. “We are turning to our local businesses and residents who have a stake in our economic well-being to keep us on track by signing up.”

Volunteers must take a six-hour online training course. They work remotely to reach out to the contacts of anyone diagnosed with COVID-19 to assess symptoms, ensure compliance with quarantine and determine support needs.

To volunteer, call Jan Miller of the county Personnel Department at 845-808-1650 ext. 46103, or email her at jan.miller@putnamcountyny.gov. The state is also hiring contact tracers. See coronavirus.health.ny.gov.

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