Sunday on CNN’s “State of the Union,” Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said there has been no spike in coronavirus cases in the states that are reopening.
Host Jake Tapper asked, “Let me ask you, this is intrigue to me because some states have been reopening despite warnings of dire consequences from health experts, states like Georgia and Colorado began reopening weeks ago, and it seems at least so far that we have not seen a dramatic spike in new cases from those two states, Georgia and Colorado.
What have you seen from those states? Is there any cause for concern that they reopened early? Is it still too early to tell? Or are they taking measures such as social distancing and masks that make this reopening work?”
Azar said, “Jake, I think your question is very insightful. We are seeing that in areas that are opening, we’re not seeing the spike in cases. We still see spikes in some areas that are, in fact, closed, very localized situations.”
“With reopening, what’s the key to reopening? First, we need to have good surveillance. So we need to look for influenza-like illness and other respiratory disease. We have a great surveillance system for that. We look for spikes and early indicators. We have adequate testing capacity. We need to make sure anybody who is symptomatic is tested and that we have adequate asymptomatic surveillance in areas of greatest burden.
“Senior living, congregate living situations like prisons or m facilities where people are close together. So we look for early indicators. Then we use the traditional public health tools to surge in there. We would test everybody there. We would do contact tracing and isolation.”