A national COVID-19 surveillance system: Achieving containment

A national COVID-19 surveillance system: Achieving containment

This report from the team of experts that published the earlier Road Map to Reopening report describes the core capabilities and processes states need to build to allow our response to be more granular than the current, broadly applied institutional closures and social distancing measures.

The authors argue that planning for the future must occur alongside current response efforts, so that we can improve how we conduct surveillance, implement containment measures, and manage infectious disease cases. To do this, the authors suggest a system coordinated by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and implemented by state and local health authorities, to ensure that all areas of the country have developed the following capabilities:

  1. Test and Trace Infrastructure: Capacity for Widespread Diagnostic Testing and Data Sharing to Enable Rapid Case-Based Interventions
    1. The capacity to conduct rapid diagnostic testing for everyone with COVID-19 symptoms
      and those with exposures or at higher risk of contracting or transmitting the virus (health
      care workers, those in congregate settings), with a robust sentinel surveillance system that
      routinely monitors for infection among samples of the population to enable early
      identification of small outbreaks, particularly in vulnerable populations;
    2. Routine, straightforward, and secure electronic data sharing to support surveillance;
  2. Syndromic Surveillance: Integration of Test and Trace into an Enhanced National Syndromic Surveillance System
    1. Surveillance based on syndromic indicators of spikes and falls in potential COVID-19
      related symptoms, building on existing public health syndromic surveillance capabilities
    2. Timely and transparent reporting of COVID-19 outbreaks and testing and response
      capacity at the local level
  3. Serologic Testing: Capacity to Conduct Widespread Serologic Testing to Identify Reliable Markers of Immunity
    1. The development of regional measures of community exposure and immunity
    2. The use and integration of accurate serologic testing of individuals for effective surveillance and containment
  4. Rapid Response: Capacity for Isolation, Contact Tracing, and Quarantine
    1. The capacity to isolate new cases and trace, test, and quarantine contacts rapidly
    2. The capacity to treat new COVID-19 cases effectively, at home or in a hospital
|2020-04-08T16:00:45-04:00April 8th, 2020|COVID-19 Literature|Comments Off on A national COVID-19 surveillance system: Achieving containment

About the Author: Ross Silverman

Ross Silverman
Ross D. Silverman, JD, MPH, is Professor of Health Policy and Management at Indiana University Fairbanks School of Public Health and Professor of Public Health and Law at Indiana University McKinney School of Law in Indianapolis. He is a member of the IU Centers on Health Policy and Bioethics. His research focuses on public health and medical law, policy, and ethics, and law's impact on health outcomes and vulnerable populations. He also serves as Associate Editor on Legal Epidemiology for Public Health Reports, the official journal of the Office of the U.S. Surgeon General and the U.S. Public Health Service. His most recent Covid-19 publications include: "Ensuring Uptake of Vaccines Against SARS-CoV-2" in the New England Journal of Medicine (with MM Mello & SB Omer), and "Covid-19: control measures must be equitable and inclusive" in BMJ (with ZD Berger, NG Evans & AL Phelan)

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