Schatz Urges Gov to Maintain Expanded COVID-19 Contact Tracing Program
US Senator Brian Schatz has called on Gov. David Ige to maintain Hawai‘i’s expanded COVID-19 contact tracing program.
With some federal funding from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act set to expire at the end of the year, Schatz urged Ige to utilize other sources of funding to ensure the contact tracing program remains fully operational.
“I am alarmed that there does not seem to be a plan yet for how to fully fund the contact tracing program after December 30,” Schatz stated in a letter to Ige on Tuesday. “I urge you to maintain the expanded contact tracing program beyond the end of the year and to utilize all available resources to do so. Now is not the time to let our foot off the pedal—we must do all we can to keep the number of new cases low and protect the health of the residents of Hawaiʻi.”
Schatz wrote that contact tracing is an important component of a comprehensive strategy to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.
“As you know, I was frustrated with the Department of Health’s (DOH’s) initial reluctance to implement a robust contact tracing program, but I have been encouraged by the ramp-up of hiring and efforts to improve the efficiency of the program in recent months,” Schatz stated.
Read the full letter here.