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

Publication Date

April 10, 2020

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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.