What the U.S. Needs to Do — Right Now — to Fight Coronavirus
The coronavirus epidemic is rapidly escalating in the United States. In addition to social distancing measures, such as canceling public events and working from home, we need a health system strategy premised on testing, telehealth, and treatment that achieves the twin objectives of curbing transmission and optimizing care for the influx of patients expected in the coming weeks.
With the epidemic doubling in size every week, we need to act urgently and, within the next 30 days, establish a systematic approach to find and isolate infected people as quickly as possible before they infect others, monitor Covid-19 patients with mild illness at home, and preserve limited hospital capacity for those who really need it.
If we knew every single person infected at this very moment, we could isolate and treat them before they infect others, and this epidemic would be over in a matter of weeks. However, because Covid-19 causes symptoms similar to the flu and numerous other viruses, it is impossible to know who is infected without testing.