Testing & Tracing Action Plan: Getting Ahead of COVID-19

The Rockefeller Foundation published an update to the earlier report, National Covid-19 Testing Action Plan Pragmatic Steps to Reopen Our Workplaces and Our Communities. Issued in April, the original report called for a massive national effort to increase testing to 30 million per week. As advocated in the report, “the United States must mount a sustainable strategy with better test and contact tracing, and stay the course for as long as it takes to develop a vaccine or cure.” By bringing together experts and leaders from science, industry, academia, public policy, and government, the Foundation set to create a clear and actionable plan to safely reopen the country.

In particular, the plan included the following key initiatives:

  • Launching a Covid Community Healthcare Corps to facilitate testing and privacy-centric contact tracing;
  • Establishing a testing data commons and digital platform to track Covid-19 developments;
  • Instituting a Pandemic Testing Board to accommodate information sharing between government jurisdictions and private industries.

The Update Report to the Action Plan underscores the crucial need for the implementation of wider testing in light of the failures to contain the Covid-19 outbreak. Specifically, the report calls to “redouble our efforts to combat Covid-19 […] while also adjusting to new realities.”

To facilitate better outcomes, the updated report outlines the following principal aims:

  • Dramatic expansion of testing abilities, including tests to screen asymptomatic individuals;
  • Development of reliable, simpler, faster, and cheaper tests;
  • Delivery of tests to the hardest-hit communities;
  • Establishment of a standard set of protocols to assist in reopening of schools and workplaces;
  • Creation of local systems to track infections;
  • Support better data tracking and dissemination; and
  • Launch of a national education campaign to build support for testing.

For more information on related topics visit the HSDL Featured Topic on Pandemics and Epidemics or view other resources included in the COVID-19 Special Collection. 

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