New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy implored state residents Monday to cooperate with coronavirus contact tracers, saying the non-compliance rate had climbed to 74%.
Murphy wrote on Twitter:
"This is not a witch hunt. We're only trying to stop the spread of this virus. Work with our contact tracers."
Contact tracing is used when a case of infection of the SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes COVID-19 is confirmed or probable. Those who are infected are to give the names and information of those who they have been in contact with so they can be identified, contacted and so on.
"The rate of noncooperation with our contact tracers is now up to a whopping 74% of cases," Murphy said during a news conference. "Quite frankly, this is unacceptable, and we need folks to turn that around. 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."
New Jersey, which has the highest death rate per capita in the United States, 1,967 per 1 million, has seen a more than 25% rise in its seven-day average of new daily cases since Dec. 1, climbing from 4,080 to 5,205 on Monday.
State health officials have blamed the increase on gatherings surrounding the Thanksgiving Day holiday.
New restrictions went into effect Monday morning, including reducing the limits on outdoor gatherings from 150 to 25, with exemptions for funerals, weddings, memorial services, church services, and political activities, Philadelphia's CBS network affiliate KYW reported.
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