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Increased testing, contact tracing program provide a boost to pandemic battle

Despite increasing calls to lift the New York PAUSE restrictions, most public officials throughout the state are refraining from predicting when most activities will resume. The effort to move beyond the standstill of the COVID-19 pandemic was boosted in recent days, so says Dr. Nancy Nielsen. In her weekly appearance with WBFO, she sees help coming from an increase in coronavirus testing and a funded contact tracing program.

Nielsen, a former President of the American Medical Association, currently serves as the Senior Associate Dean for Health Policy at UB's Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences.

She sees significant progress in the federal government's agreement in helping New York State double its testing capacity. Equally important is former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg's commitment to spend $10 million to contact trace cases of the coronavirus.

"How that operationally will work, I honestly don't know," Nielsen said.

"It sounds like the Bloomberg organization will do the hiring and the people will be deployed to contact trace throughout New York, Connecticut and New Jersey because obviously in the downstate area there's a lot of movement between the three states."

"The details need to be revealed, but boy that will certainly be a financial help and a boots-on-the-ground help."


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Jay joined Buffalo Toronto Public Media in 2008 and has been local host for NPR's "Morning Edition" ever since. In June, 2022, he was named one of the co-hosts of WBFO's "Buffalo, What's Next."

A graduate of St. Mary's of the Lake School, St. Francis High School and Buffalo State College, Jay has worked most of his professional career in Buffalo. Outside of public media, he continues in longstanding roles as the public address announcer for the Buffalo Sabres of the National Hockey League and as play-by-play voice of Canisius College basketball.