Caitlin Rivers, PhD+ Your Authors @cmyeaton Outbreak science + epidemiology + health security. Assistant professor at Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security (@JHSPH_CHS). ELBI alum. May. 19, 2020 1 min read + Your Authors

Most states have begun to reopen. Here is my guess for what that will mean for transmission. A thread. 1/

The best possible scenario would have been that communities have capacities to do widespread diagnostic testing + contact tracing + isolation/quarantine. These case-based interventions allowed some countries to drive transmission way down. 2/

There has been some progress in building those capacities in the US, with states expanding testing+tracing. But we haven’t fully transitioned to managing our outbreak in this way, and so I don’t think we can expect the success that e.g. Germany and South Korea have had. 3/

So then the question becomes what’s going to happen with our outbreaks? My guess is most communities will remain at more or less steady levels of transmission, with some drifting up and some drifting down. (keep reading, caveats ahead) 4/

If people continue to do some combo of social distancing, staying home more, masks, more contact tracing, I doubt we will see widespread exponential growth like we did early on. These indiv actions cumulatively will help to keep transmission suppressed but not fully controlled 5/

However, I think there will be hotspots and flares, maybe originating in gatherings like parties or sporting events. There will also continue to be serious outbreaks that start in nursing homes or correctional facilities or plants and then spread into the broader community. 6/

What does this mean for us? Our actions, the choices we make, are the front lines. We should stay home when we can, avoid gatherings, wear masks indoors in public, wash hands. This next phase is up to us, and it's with continued vigilance that we can further slow the virus. 7/7

You can follow @cmyeaton.


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