Monday, August 17, 2020

on testing and contact tracing

Let me preface this by reminding you that I'm not a doctor, so this is in all of my lay capacities. 

One of the ongoing conversations across the United States this year has been "other countries are reopening schools and some are making it work, so what are they doing differently?"

Setting aside ('though we really shouldn't!) that they had national leadership that actually took it seriously and, also, in many cases, they're countries that have universal health care, something that they did was they got the rates low and then they kept them low with widespread testing and contact tracing.
Now, we don't have any of that, save, in Massachusetts, a fairly low rate. Much of that cannot be controlled by Worcester School Committee vote, either, but one thing we can do as a local government branch is make request of other branches, and so last week we passed this: 

Request the state have ongoing, easily accessible, free testing with a quick turnaround in operation across the state before any district brings students back into session

...which then made news. 

I didn't know it at the time, but this is actually part of L.A.'s plan for reopening this fall. I also was only made aware this morning of this study in the August Lancet, which finds that wide testing and contact tracing would stave off a second wave in the U.K.'s schools' reopening.

This is the sort of thing that works best if lots of people ask for the same thing, so go, thou, and do likewise! 

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