Proposed Changes to the U.S. COVID-19 Response Released

The Center for Health Security at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health has released Resetting Our Response: Changes Needed in the US Approach to COVID-19 (coronavirus disease 2019), a report which aims to address a current rise in coronavirus cases nation wide. Recommendations for federal, state, and local entities, according to the report, include:

Female doctor in a black hat, wearing a surgical mask over her mouth and nose fills a syringe of medicine from a vial while nurse or doctor in the foreground looks on

“1. Encourage and, where appropriate, mandate nonpharmaceutical interventions;
2. Close higher risk activities and settings in jurisdictions where the epidemic is worsening and reinstitute stay-at-home orders where healthcare systems are in crisis;
3. Bolster PPE [personal protective equipment] supply chains and stockpiles and make information about the PPE manufacturing base and supply chain publicly available, with the goal of expanding PPE availability;
4. Bolster test supply chains, plan for shortages, and collaborate with states and commercial laboratories to expand capacity and improve test turnaround times;
5. Conduct and make public detailed analyses of epidemiologic data collected during case investigations and contact tracing;
6. Curate and fund a rapid research agenda to cope with major challenges that have arisen;
7. Scale up contact tracing and continue to improve performance;
8. Identify and disseminate best practices for improving the public health response;
9. Plan for a vaccine, including production, allocation, distribution, and community engagement, to ensure a successful rollout; [and]
10. Develop policies and best practices to better protect group institutions.”

If implemented, these recommendations would attempt to mitigate the impacts of the coronavirus crisis, including the immense pressure placed on hospitals and healthcare facilities. It is important to note that COVID-19 poses a significant threat to 92.6 million adults across the nation. Age and underlying medical conditions place these adults at a higher risk of experiencing severe outcomes due to the virus. Medical supply shortages, along with the rising number of COVID-19 patients, has already placed hospitals in a crisis situation. That being said, the pandemic, as of now, has showed no signs of easing and, if left unchecked, will continue to over burden the healthcare system, as well as the economy.

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