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:
- Ready access to rapid diagnostic tests;
- Widespread serological testing to identify those who have developed immunity;
- 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.