Coronavirus Facts to Know As The Country Reopens


A quick article that touches on declining case numbers, treatments, and when we can expect a vaccine.

While all but two states across the country are adopting reopening plans due to slight declines in new confirmed cases, public health experts are concerned that the current medical measures are not enough to protect Americans from a second wave of massive infections. In accordance with the experts’ opinions, The Wall Street Journal compiles a list of information about coronavirus testing, treatment and vaccine for the public.

For the country to safely lift lockdown restrictions, public health doctors say there needs to be far more testing and at least 14 consecutive days of declining new case numbers should be required. The W.H.O. also gave recommendation of lifting restrictions when no more than 10% of total tests are positive. The U.S. states have so far failed to reach either benchmarks.

Ninety five public health labs around the country are administering COVID-19 diagnostic tests, according to the CDC. The labs are spread out in all 50 states. Tests results come out after as long as two or three weeks or as short as a few hours, depending on the location.

As for testing for everyone, the process varies by state. It is recommended by CDC that everyone who wants a test to call his or her doctor. The big drugstore chains in the U.S. such as CVS and Walgreens are currently offering free testing to people who met federal guidelines for screening.

There are treatments for the respiratory disease caused by the coronavirus, which are all experimental or only emergency-use approved by the FDA.

Remdesivir is the drug with the most evidence so far, which is created by Gilead Sciences Inc.. Another possible treatment is “convalescent plasma,” which uses colorless fluid in blood taken by infected patients that contains antibodies to the virus. The approach is endorsed by the FDA on an emergency use basis.

Antimalarial drugs have limited evidence for their effectiveness against COVID-19 from small studies in France and China. The FDA warned that the use of hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine can be associated with dangerous heart-rhythm problems.

While experts say that people who had COVID-19 before will gain some immunity, it is not known how long that immunity would last to prevent a second infection.

The U.S. government has reached a $1.2 billion deal with AstraZeneca to secure the supply of a potential coronavirus vaccine for as early as October this year. Other companies, such as Johnson & Johnson and Sanofi SA are also seeking to develop COVID-19 vaccines.

Some argue that to reopen offices and businesses, everyone in that office should test negative, due to people’s reliance on public transportation and the potential to spread the disease. While others support reopening and allowing people to make their own choices.

See the full report here.


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