D.C. residents line up for coronavirus testing at Bread for the City in Northwest on May 19. (Roy Lewis/The Washington Informer)
**FILE** D.C. residents line up for coronavirus testing at Bread for the City in Northwest on May 19, 2020. (Roy Lewis/The Washington Informer)

D.C.’s health department has ended its contact tracing force after two years of operation.

Department officials said in a statement that the tracing force, designed to identify people who could expose others to the coronavirus, was shut down Thursday, WTOP reported.

“The COVID-19 Contact Force has been instrumental in helping slow the spread of COVID-19 in the District of Columbia; however, with the COVID infections levels coming down and easier access to at-home testing kits, the COVID-19 Contact Trace Force is no longer effective or vital as a tool as it was during the peak of the pandemic,” the statement read, WTOP reported.

Department statistics show that for the week ending June 25, the city had fewer than 196 cases per 100,000 residents. By comparison, for the week ending May 21, D.C. had 356 cases per 100,000 residents.

At the apex of the omicron surge in the winter, the city had 866 cases per 100,000 residents.

Department officials said they will continue to monitor the presence of the virus in the city.

The shuttering of the unit means 131 employees were laid off, though some workers were offered jobs in other departments, WTOP reported.

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