U.S. Contact Tracing Is Ready To Go in All States
April 21, 2020 (EIRNS)—Dr. Deborah Birx told the White House press briefing yesterday that the “contact tracing” plan was ready to go in all states, as soon as they meet the criteria for the phased opening up (declining new cases, adequate medical facilities, and adequate testing to do contact tracing). She said that the two hotspots at this time were Boston and Chicago, which are being carefully accessed and provided for.
She illustrated the four types of mainline machines now in place to analyze the tests, ranging from the Abbot Labs 2000 machine (6.6 lbs), of which there are 18,000 plus, but with a capacity of only 96 tests a day, on up to the Roche COBAS 8800 (5,291 lbs) of which there are 33, which each can complete 2,880 tests a day. She displayed slides of several states, showing where the machines of each type are located.
In response to a question, Dr. Birx and HHS Secretary Adm. Brett Giroir both confirmed that they agree completely that they are now prepared for phase 1, 2, 3, and 4—“we’re over prepared.”
On who will be tested, Admiral Giroir answered: “1) Everyone who is symptomatic in a way consistent with the virus, and we will over test them to be sure. 2) Because numbers are asymptomatic, as I explained on Friday, we will be testing for asymptomatic cases by doing testing of our vulnerable populations including the elderly in nursing home, and inner city minority populations” (who are vulnerable, he said, due to overcrowding, can’t telework, and co-morbidity factors).