Time to break out the microchips.
NJ Gov Phil Murphy expressed his frustration during a press briefing on Monday with the fact that NJ's contact-tracing efforts have been a colossal failure, largely due to astronomical rates of non-cooperation, a problem that also plagued NYC's famously botched contact tracing program.
According to the Garden State Governor, "the rate of noncooperation with our contact tracers is now up to a whopping 74%."
"The rate of noncooperation with our contact tracers is now up to a whopping 74% of cases. Quite frankly, this is unacceptable and we need folks to turn that around," Murphy said. "It is extremely critical for contact tracers to get in touch with the close contacts of those who test positive to help us stop the spread of this virus."
The audibly and visibly irritated governor added that contact tracers aren't conducting a "witch hunt"; they're just trying to help people. "We're only trying to stop the spread of this virus," Murphy reiterated. He added later in a tweet that the state has more than 30 contact tracers on the ground for every 100K residents, a solid ratio that should be producing much better results.
Contact Tracing Update:— Governor Phil Murphy (@GovMurphy) December 7, 2020
We now have more than 30 contact tracers on the ground for every 100,000 residents.
The rate of non-cooperation is now up to a whopping 74%.
This is not a witch hunt. We’re only trying to stop the spread of this virus.
Work with our contact tracers. pic.twitter.com/ZL79FkiWst
But what the governor has demonstrated is that no matter how many contact tracers the state employs, results will likely remain subpar because the fact of the matter is: most people view the government - whether federal, or state - with skepticism and suspicion, and would probably prefer not to share personal information about their whereabouts and activities - just in case these 'contact tracers' get the wrong impression.
NJ reported another 5K+ new cases on Tuesday.
NEW JERSEY #COVID19 UPDATE:— Governor Phil Murphy (@GovMurphy) December 8, 2020
➡️5,820 new positive cases
➡️377,055 cumulative total cases
➡️90 new confirmed deaths
➡️15,590 total deaths
I know that we can win this fight together. Mask up. Social distance. Wash your hands. Use common sense.https://t.co/JW1q8awGh7 pic.twitter.com/9l1lJmqJPD
Murphy recently tightened restrictions on social gatherings and youth sports to try and stanch the surge in new cases.
Watch the clip below: