As states begin to relax their COVID-19 protocols, New York City has announced that it will put an end to its main contact tracing program this April.

NYC health commissioner Dr. Dave Chokshi said the decision was made due to declining cases and high vaccination rates, according to NBC-4 in New York. "As we enter a new phase of the pandemic, we must adapt our public health interventions, while still providing resources to New Yorkers," Chokshi said.

While the program will be ending on April 30, the outlet reports that health department officials will continue to reach out to "known positives" and participate in some tracing efforts.

Dr. Ted Long, the executive director of the city’s Test and Trace program, confirmed the news in an email to the city’s remaining contact tracers on Monday. Long said the timeline allows for eight weeks to complete current work and to "get New Yorkers ready for the next phase as we learn to live with COVID,” reports the New York Times.

The announcement comes after recent guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advised states to lift many of their COVID protocols and contact tracing programs.

The state of New York had the most infections in the U.S. from the start of the pandemic until July 2020, when it was eclipsed by California, Florida, and Texas, CNN reported. Around half of the state's infections have been in New York City, which has a population of almost nine million.

In March 2020, the NYTimes reported that the city's 911 emergency response network was overburdened as a result of COVID. There were over 7,000 calls made on March 26, a record number since the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

The city started its tracing program in June 2020.

Recent data from NYC Health shows that trends are decreasing with a current daily average of 1,051 confirmed COVID cases in the city and a daily average of 118 probable cases. The NYTimes' data tracker has recorded a daily average of 1,987 cases in the state as of Tuesday.

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