NEW YORK STATE ASSEMBLY MEMORANDUM IN SUPPORT OF LEGISLATION submitted in accordance with Assembly Rule III, Sec 1(f)
BILL NUMBER: A10567a
SPONSOR: Rules (Jean-Pierre)
TITLE OF BILL:
An act in relation to requiring that COVID-19 contact tracers be repre-
sentative of the cultural and linguistic diversity of the communities in
which they serve to the greatest extent possible; and providing for the
repeal of such provisions upon the expiration thereof
PURPOSE OR GENERAL IDEA OF BILL:
To ensure that COVID-19 contact tracers adequately represent the commu-
nities in which they are serving.
SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS:
Section 1. Requires the New York State Department of Health, a county
department of health, and any entity that hires persons to perform
COVID-19 contact tracing except within a city of one million or more,
shall hire contact tracers who are representative of the cultural and
linguistic diversity of the communities in which they serve, to the
greatest extent possible.
Section 2. Requires each county health department, except within a city
of a million or more, to annually post a report on contact tracer worker
diversity in the county to their website.
Section 3. Sets out an immediate effective date and a repeal date of
January 1, 2022.
DIFFERENCE BETWEEN ORIGINAL AND AMENDED VERSION (IF APPLICABLE):
COVID-19 contact tracers are an essential means to gradually and safely
reopening New York's economy. Contact tracers are tasked with notifying
and isolating potentially-exposed individuals as COVID-19 positive cases
are discovered. According to recent findings by Newsday, coronavirus
testing at community health centers in Nassau and Suffolk counties,
where the preponderance of patients are minorities with low incomes,
consistently has documented far higher rates of COVID-19 infection than
in the overall county populations, underscoring the prevalence of health
care disparities in communities of color.
Gaining trust is imperative for the success of contact tracing, and
ensuring that contact tracers have familiarity with varied languages and
cultural practices will help minimize further population exposure and
aid in stopping the spread of COVID-19. New York state should promote
diversity in its contact tracing recruitment initiatives in order to
equitably distribute employment opportunities and enhance efficiency in
our contact tracing program.
PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY:
FISCAL IMPLICATIONS FOR STATE AND LOCAL GOVERNMENTS:
This act shall take effect immediately and shall expire and be deemed
repealed January 1, 2022.
STATE OF NEW YORK
June 3, 2020
Introduced by COMMITTEE ON RULES -- (at request of M. of A. Jean-Pierre,
Stern, De La Rosa, Dickens, Mosley, Simon) -- read once and referred
to the Committee on Health -- reported and referred to the Committee
on Rules -- committee discharged, bill amended, ordered reprinted as
amended and recommitted to said committee
AN ACT in relation to requiring that COVID-19 contact tracers be repre-
sentative of the cultural and linguistic diversity of the communities
in which they serve to the greatest extent possible; and providing for
the repeal of such provisions upon the expiration thereof
The People of the State of New York, represented in Senate and Assem-bly, do enact as follows:
1 Section 1. The department of health, a county department of health, or
2 other entity that hires persons after the effective date of this act to
3 perform contact tracing pertaining to COVID-19 infections, except within
4 a city with a population of one million or more, shall, to the greatest
5 extent possible, hire contact tracers who are representative of the
6 cultural and linguistic diversity of the communities in which they
8 § 2. Each county department of health, except in a city with a popu-
9 lation of one million or more, shall compile data collected by each
10 entity, when applicable, and post information on their website about
11 contact tracer worker diversity within the county. Such information
12 shall be updated annually.
13 § 3. This act shall take effect immediately and shall expire and be
14 deemed repealed January 1, 2022.
EXPLANATION--Matter in italics (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
 is old law to be omitted.