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HomeCoronavirusDr. Amanda Johnson, Head of 'Tracing & Isolation' Announces 'Take Care Package'

Dr. Amanda Johnson, Head of ‘Tracing & Isolation’ Announces ‘Take Care Package’

Take Care Package Announced by Dr. Amanda Johnson of NYC’s ‘Tracing and Isolation’

Mayor Bill de Blasio holds a media availability with Director Amanda Johnson, Take Care New York. City Hall. Friday, August 7, 2020. Credit: Ed Reed/Mayoral Photography Office.

Today during NYC Mayor de Blasio’s Press Conference, Amanda Johnson (Director of Take Care New York) announced a new initiative in the form of something to ease the lives of New Yorkers having to go through COVID-19 related quarantines. It would come in the form of a “Take Care Package” which takes into account that which is needed for the sake of a “healthy separation.”

Such supplies would be available for delivery to those in need beginning next week.

The package would include items such as hand sanitizer, masks, antibacterial wipes, a disposable thermometer and a pulse oximeter (which tells you about your heart rate and oxygen levels).

On May 12, 2020, the Mayor had announced the Test and Trace Corp’s Tracing and Isolation operation to be led by Dr. Neil Vora and Dr. Amanda Johnson.

Although, we’re a slight bit lost as to any differentiation to be made between that and the ‘Take Care Initiative’, also run by Dr. Johnson, which according to the Mayor, “is focused on the need for – isolate those who need that help.”

TCNY/2020’s informational brochure has the following on one its pages:

“”We reviewed data on diseases and deaths in New York City, looking for trends that unjustly affect some neighborhoods and/or groups more than others. When there was detailed data, we looked for differences in health outcomes by age, race/ethnicity, gender, education, neighborhood poverty, immigration status, borough and sexual orientation. We also looked at important aspects of daily life that affect health, such as housing, employment and education. We grouped all of these indicators into four broad categories that reflect the major goals of our work. They are: Promote Healthy Childhoods, Create Healthier Neighborhoods, Support Healthy Living and Increase Access to Quality Care.””

Director Amanda Johnson, Take Care New York speaking during the Mayor’s Press Conference today: 

“As the Mayor mentioned, the Take Care arm of the Test and Trace course responsible for ensuring that New Yorkers have what they need to safely separate. To date this program has looked like helping New Yorkers connect with a hotel so that they have a physical space and the amenities that they need to prevent spreading the virus to their loved ones, their roommates, their family, their friends, and for New Yorkers who choose to complete isolation and quarantine at home we’ll deliver you the services that you need to do so from the comfort of your own home. We are really pleased to announce that starting next week, we’ll actually be able to deliver you the supplies that you need to complete your safe separation in the form of our Take Care package.

So I’m going to walk you through the contents of this package, some of which are going to be familiar to you. So having the weathered the storm over the past five months you’ll know that this is a medical grade mask that you can use to protect yourself from the other people who reside in your homes, and we’ve also included hand sanitizer for you. Nothing takes the place of washing your hands as frequently as possible, but I just want to take a moment to remark on how impressive it is that we’re being able to deliver a hand sanitizer and masks at a time where we would not have been able to do so five months ago. We also have antibacterial wipes so that you’re able to clean the surfaces so that you reduce the risk of transmitting the virus to people who share your household. We’re also including two items to help you with monitoring your health during the time that you’re isolating quarantining. One is a disposable thermometer. This is really important because your contact tracers going to call you and ask you about your symptoms, and we specifically want to know if you’ve registered any fever over the past day. This will help us ensure that when it comes time for you to exit your safe separation, you’re able to do so at the appropriate time. We’ve also included a medical device in the kits that we’re going to be sending to cases – so the people who have been confirmed positive for COVID. This is a pulse oximeter. It gives you two very useful pieces of information. One of which is your heart rate. The other is your oxygen level – the level of oxygen saturation in your blood, this information is really important because a low oxygen saturation can be an early warning sign that you need to seek additional medical attention. You can have a low oxygen saturation without even feeling breathless, so we’re really pleased that we’re able to include this so that you have the information you need to be able to escalate care when the time comes – when and if the time comes. We’ve also through the generosity of a couple of donors, been able to include a couple things, to make the duration of safe separation, more engaging, and more productive. So we’re really appreciative to Kind for the inclusion of a couple of Kind bars in the Take Care package, and we’d also like to thank Microsoft for providing information about how to access online workshops and training. I know that was a lot of information but we’ve also included a booklet in the Take Care package so that you can go over the resources that are included and also find information about how to connect with other services that you might need during the time of your safe separation. This package is going to be translated into 13 additional languages as well.

We understand that being able to safely separate comes down to more than just tools. It’s about building relationships with your contact tracer, with your resource navigator, so that they can help you get the services that you need to safely separate, particularly if you choose to do so at home. We’re really proud of the work that the 15 community-based organizations who form our core of over 200 resource navigators – the relationships they’ve built to help people get the services they need while they’re safely separating at home. These tireless 200+ resource navigators have fielded over 8,000 calls to people who have needed services, people who have reached out to us during this really critical time. They’ve been able to connect individuals to about 5,000+ city services, including prescription medication delivery, as well as mental health services, and we’ve been able to enable 2,000 individuals to receive food delivery in their homes.

I want to take this moment to extend my appreciation to all the New Yorkers out there who have been participating in the Test and Trace Corps so far. So if you’ve gone out and you’ve gotten tested, if you’ve picked up the phone, when your contact tracer has called you, if you’ve given information about your contact so we can help them know their status and help them safely separate, I am indebted to you, and I’m also very grateful for everybody who has made the sacrifice to safely separate at home or hotel so that we can break the chains of transmission and stop the virus in its tracks.”


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