Parts of the United States experiencing a resurgence of the coronavirus are “back to square zero” in their efforts to control the pandemic, infectious disease expert Michael Osterholm said on Wednesday.
Osterholm, the director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota, told CNN’s Anderson Cooper that the number of new daily infections are “only going to continue to rise” over the coming weeks.
“Many of these cases are already in the pipeline,” between when people become infected and when they are diagnosed, he noted.
Many health officials, including members of the White House coronavirus task force, have been reluctant to advocate new lockdown restrictions to curb the resurgent virus. Americans endured weeks of restrictions starting in March, but some states bowed to President Donald Trump’s pressure to reopen and now face record numbers of new infections.
“The bottom line is that we’re going to have to really clamp back down again,” Osterholm said.
“The countries that have successfully contained this virus were able to get it down to a level of 1 to 2 cases per 100,000 population, then testing and contact tracing will work,” Osterholm explained.
The U.S. recorded more than 1 million infections in the last month alone.
“In a situation like this, when the entire forest is on fire, all the testing and contact tracing in the world isn’t going to shut it down,” said Osterholm. “It’s going to have to take a lot of distancing issues and we’re back to square zero in a sense ― where we were in March ― for many of these locations.”
Check out Osterholm’s comments here:
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