To the editor:
Gov. Cuomo says that New York and the nation will need a “tracing army” to discover and curb potential coronavirus cases in order to reopen our economy.
Who better than the nation’s licensed notaries to lead or supplement such a contact-tracing work force?
According to Wikipedia, there are approximately 291,000 notaries just in New York state alone, and 4.4 million in the nation.
Johns Hopkins calculates that we may need 100,000 contact tracers. Dr. Thomas Frieden, a former Centers for Disease Control and Prevention director, says 300,000 may be required.
Notaries are licensed, vetted, apolitical, experienced (in dealing with people), and are officials of state government.
Why build a whole new bureaucracy when you have a notary base already trained to deal with the public on sensitive issues? Many notaries visit hospitals, nursing homes and care facilities, and are already conversant on issues of health.
Notaries would need training protocols from health departments, and would work via phone, email and other such methods without risking their own health.
The author is a notary public.