As COVID-19 caused deaths in the United States have crossed 150,000, the Center for Health Security has released a report noting policy actions and data reporting needed at all levels of government to effectively turn the tide against the pandemic.
“Unlike many countries in the world, the United States is not currently on course to get control of this epidemic,” the authors of Resetting Our Response: Changes needed in the U.S. approach to COVID-19 said. “It’s time to reset.”
Recognizing that the disease is far beyond any city, state, territory or community to handle on their own, the authors recommended 10 actions:
- Encourage or mandate non-pharmaceutical actions like mask wearing and physical distance
- Delay high-risk activities and close facilities where the epidemic is worsening. Stick to stay-at-home orders for up to two weeks if healthcare systems are in crisis.
- Reinforce supply chains and stockpiles for PPE, while expanding public information
- Work with states and private labs to expand test capacity and turnaround times, boost supply chains and plan for shortages.
- Undertake public analyses of data from case investigations and contact tracing
- Fund rapid research efforts
- Scale up contact tracing programs
- Identify, then spread best practices for improving public health responses
- Plan for a national vaccine, whenever it may come, to guarantee a smooth launch
- Create policies and best practices to protect group institutions
The authors urged that any actions taken be collective, as a means of evading a chain reaction of crises throughout the healthcare system and economy. That, they say, will end up saving many lives.