Fauci: Testing is vital to mitigation

At yesterday’s White House briefing, Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, talked about why the testing for COVID-19 is so important. Escambia County’s test results are taking 7-8 days to come back – so can’t get an accurate handle of the spread in our community yet.

Now that nationally, test results are coming in, Dr. Fauci said doctors and public health experts can better determine what is happening with the virus.

“When we make policy about what we’re going to be doing with the rest of the country, particularly those areas that are not hotspots, we need to know what the penetrance of infection is there,” said Dr. Fauci. “So we need to put a light on those dark spots that we don’t know.  We have to act, policy-wise, on data.  And we’re going to be getting more data — a lot more data.”

The testing will help areas like Escambia County battle the virus.

“The areas of the country that are not hotspots–that are not going through the terrible ordeal that New York and California and Washington State are going through–they still have a window of significant degree of being able to contain,” he said. “In other words, when you test, you find somebody, you isolate them, you get them out of circulation, and you do the contact tracing.”

Dr. Fauci explained, “When you have a big outbreak, it’s tough to do anything but mitigation. We have an opportunity now that we have the availability of testing to do that.”

He said the New York is “a very serious situation.” He expressed concern that people were understandably trying to get out New York and travel to Florida and other places.

“If you look at the statistics, it’s disturbing,” said Dr. Fauci. “About one per thousand of these individuals are infected. That’s about 8 to 10 times more than in other areas, which means when they go to another place, for their own safety, they’ve got to be careful, monitor themselves. If they get sick, bring it to the attention of a physician. Get tested.”

He stressed the importance of self-isolating for two weeks–“because we don’t want that to be another seeding point to the rest of the country, wherever they go.”

Based on Dr. Fauci’s comments, Inweekly strongly recommends Mayor Grover Robinson institute taking the temperatures of people boarding and off boarding flights at the Pensacola International Airport.