A National Plan to Enable Comprehensive COVID-19 Case Finding and Contact Tracing in the US

A National Plan to Enable Comprehensive COVID-19 Case Finding and Contact Tracing in the US (Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security, April 10, 2020, 15p)

In order to save lives, reduce burdens on healthcare, ease strict distancing, and confidently make progress toward returning to work and school, the US “must implement a comprehensive system to identify all COVID-19 cases and trace all close contacts of each identified case.” Communities need:

  1. Ready access to rapid diagnostic tests;
  2. Widespread serological testing to identify those who have developed immunity;
  3. The ability to trace all contacts of reported cases, requiring some 100,000 paid or volunteer contact tracers deployed to areas of greatest need.

To do this, some $3.6 billion in emergency funding to state health departments is needed.  Lessons from around the world can inform this response, citing South Korea, Taiwan, Singapore, New Zealand, and Iceland.

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