Testing, tracing strategy key to preventing COVID-19 flare-ups, lawmakers say

Washington-DC

WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) — Lawmakers say in order to prevent another major COVID-19 outbreak the country needs a nationwide testing and tracing strategy.

Congressman Raul Ruiz (D-Calif.) says by the fall, states must do widespread COVID-19 testing and identify everyone who comes in contact with positive cases. 

“The only way we have to defeat this virus is to keep people who are positive, who are contagious away from other people,” Rep. Ruiz said. 

But he says states can’t do it alone. 

“We need the administration to sit down with their public health experts, to help define what a methodology should look like,” he said. 

Ruiz says testing and tracing strategies aren’t one size fits all and may differ state by state. 

But no matter the strategy, thousands of trained people will be needed to put it into action.

Congressman Ami Bera (D-Calif.) says California is already training thousands of contract tracers. 

“Now we need that public health workforce. The men and women who are going to go out there and do the contact tracing,” Rep. Bera said. 

He says they’ll work with county health officials to enforce isolated quarantines. 

“So we don’t have to shut down the entire country, but we can shut down clusters,” he said. 

“In the testing blueprint, we talk about proactive surveillance,” White House Task Force member Dr. Deborah Birx said. 

Dr. Birx says in settings where outbreaks are common everyone should be tested. 

“Proactively go and test everyone in meat packing plants. To proactively go and test 100 percent of the residents and workers in every single long term care facility,” she said. 

Dr. Birx says catching asymptomatic cases early is the best way to prevent outbreaks.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

CBS47 On Your Side

Do you have a problem that you need help solving? Contact CBS47 and let us be On Your Side.

Phone: 559-761-0383
Email: OnYourSide@cbsfresno.com

Don’t Miss

Sunday Service
Best of the Valley
Sunday Morning Matters
MedWatch Today
Hispanic Heritage
Bulldog Insider: The Podcast
The Valley's Armenia
Pros Who Know

Images from Armenia

Small patients in Armenia
Yerevan by night.
Dr. Jeff Thomas delivers.
Dr. Jeff Thomas delivers in Gyumri.
Doctors unpack medical supplies from The Central Valley.
Fresno Medical Mission at work.
Medical Supplies being unloaded.
Fresno Medical Mission at the ready.
KSEE24 crew witnesses the miracle of life in Gyumri, Armenia.
Life saving work of Central Valley surgeons in Armenia.
Ribbon cutting on new surgical center in Ashtarak Armenia. Fresno donors made this dream come true.
KSEE24 on assignment with the Fresno Medical Mission
Honorary Consulate to Armenia Berj Apkarian explains the crisis facing one hospital.
KSEE24's Stefani Booroojian and Kevin Mahan at the meeting with President Bako Sahakyan.
Medical Meeting in Artsakh.
The President of Artsakh meets with the Fresno Medical Mission.
Learning modern medicine techniques with the Fresno Medical Mission in surgery.
Leaning in for a look. Dr. Brien Tonkinson holds class and helps a patient in Armenia.
Fresno Medical Mission cares on one of the smallest patients in the region. Six-year old Yanna receives life-changing better breathing surgery.