TRENTON, N.J. - Gov. Phil Murphy says New Jersey will be more than doubling the number of public health professionals currently tracing COVID-19 cases.
Murphy said Tuesday during a news conference that New Jersey will hire at least 1,000 people, creating a Community Contact Tracing Corps and supplementing the roughly 800 to 900 mostly county health officials who are currently tracing contacts among coronavirus-positive residents.
The news came as Murphy announced the state’s COVID-19 data is trending in the right direction, though he stopped short of specifying dates by which the state might reopen its economy.
The governor also took to Twitter on Tuesday to talk about the importance of contact tracing and having a steady supply of testing materials.
"Testing and contact tracing are truly the underpinnings of the Road Back. Until there’s a proven vaccine, our best chance at catching and containing #COVID19 is through testing and contact tracing."
In a string of tweets, Murphy explained how the state is looking to centralize their contact tracing efforts.
Murphy also said officials would look to the state's "colleges & universities to employ their public health, social work, and related students as our front-line workers."
During the same press conference, Murphy announced the number of COVID-19 cases in the state had risen to more than 140,000 with more than 9,500 deaths reported.
If you’re interested in becoming a contact tracer, please visit http://covid19.nj.gov/tracer.
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The Associated Press contributed to this report.