Current solutions in reopening the country with emphasis on testing; business impact of opening up the economy
According to the most recent reports, it is still unclear if the U.S. government is able to safely carry out the reopening of the country. Numerous reports indicate shortage of testing kits, unclear and incorrect promises from the government officials and overwhelming supply line of test manufacturers as they are preparing for the beginning of states reopening
In April, 13 a review was published in Annals of Internal Medicine, an academic medical journal published by the American College of Physicians. According to the report presented in the journal,
«Diagnostic testing to identify persons infected with severe acute respiratory syndrome–related coronavirus-2 (SARS–CoV-2) infection is central to control the global pandemic of COVID-19 that began in late 2019. In a few countries, the use of diagnostic testing on a massive scale has been a cornerstone of successful containment strategies. In contrast, the United States, hampered by limited testing capacity, has prioritized testing for specific groups of persons.»
Diagnostic Testing for Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome–Related
Coronavirus-2. Cheng, Papenburg, et. al.
The Harvard Global Health Institute has been another force behind spreading awareness on conducting the coronavirus tests and how it impacts reopening the country. Recently, it was suggested that 500,000 tests have to be conducted daily in order to open states and maintain the amount of new cases following the reopening.
The expected amount of new tests is not the only concern when it comes to distribution. Experts warn, that even if we disregard the overwhelming manufacturing conditions, the biggest priority in prepared tests is still put onto Private Health Systems over public health organizations:
«Though the supply chain is a concern for labs of all sizes, manufacturers appear to be prioritizing orders from commercial labs and big health systems over public health labs»
Eric Blanks, chief program officer for the Association of Public Health Laboratories
The government continues to assure the public in providing aid to states and governments to control and fight the coronavirus during the reopening. Over the past few months the reports were inconsistent, contradictory yet still assuring of being in control of the situation.
As of right now, the guidelines for reopening the economy and businesses, as issued by The White House, provide general measures of restarting the work of most public areas. They include several phases of opening up the states starting at keeping the most vulnerable individuals isolated, enforcing monitoring of symptoms by the employers and furthering interactions between people, provided the proper measurements have been taken and the most essential controlling mechanisms are in place.
At the same time, various states continue to issue their own guidelines that ensure proper management of the situation especially as the economy is now reopening, allowing small, medium and large businesses to accept people on their premises. As of May 7, only 17 states have implemented obligatory practices for staff screening. Even if explicitly stated, the guidelines, as they are related to businesses, still suggest involving another person in the screening process, putting the screener in danger rather than suggesting autonomous screening solutions.