What will it take to reopen the United States? CDC says “aggressive” contact tracing: plans

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Robert Redfield, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, spoke with NPR on Thursday, saying his agency was working on a plan to safely reopen the United States.

Tom Williams / CQ-Roll Call Inc. via Getty Images

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Tom Williams / CQ-Roll Call Inc. via Getty Images

Robert Redfield, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, spoke with NPR on Thursday, saying his agency was working on a plan to safely reopen the United States.

Tom Williams / CQ-Roll Call Inc. via Getty Images

This is the question everyone is asking: what will we need to get out of this period of extreme social distancing and find a semblance of normal life?

It turns out that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have been working on a plan to allow the United States to begin reducing these policies safely. CDC director Robert Redfield spoke to NPR on Thursday, saying the plan is not only based on accelerated testing, but also on finding “very aggressive” contacts from those who test positive for the drug. coronavirus, and a significant increase in staff to do the necessary work.

Contact tracing is the process of finding and contacting contacts of a person who has tested positive for an infectious pathogen. These contacts are then quarantined or monitored, and if one of them is also positive, the process is repeated with their contacts, and so on, until the chain of transmission is interrupted. It is a labor-intensive and time-consuming practice which, for decades, has been a fundamental public health tool for containing infectious diseases.

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