To protect the lives of health care workers, patients, and the community, we advocate for actions that are backed by scientific evidence and recommended by public health experts.
Minimize Transmission, Maximize Lives Saved
Stay at Home and continue Physical Distancing until medical experts and data tell us it is safe to discontinue these measures.
Among people who test positive for COVID-19, 25-50% have no symptoms but can transmit the virus. Every infected person infects two to three additional people on average. If even one person is infected in a single small social gathering, dozens of additional lives are at risk.
To flatten the curve and save as many lives as possible, we all need to:
- Avoid gatherings of ANY size.
- Limit physical contact to household members only.
- Keep at least six feet apart from all social contacts.
- Stop going to all public spaces where people are continuing to congregate.
- Wait until medical experts and data tell us it is safe to discontinue the above measures.
Produce, Purchase, Provide PPE (Personal Protective Equipment):
Urgently produce, purchase and provide high standard PPE with proven protective value for all healthcare workers.
All healthcare workers involved in direct (e.g. physicians, nurses, others) or indirect support of patient care (e.g. laboratory technicians, medical waste handlers, cleaning staff, security) are at risk of exposure and deserve a safe standard of protection tailored to exposure risk. Every elected official at the local, state, and federal levels should support fully mobilizing all state and federal resources, including invoking Defense Production Act – for both immediate access and an ongoing organized supply chain.
Detect and Protect:
Detect every patient who has or has been exposed to COVID-19 to understand transmission and protect the health of patients, their families and the community.
Widely available testing and contact tracing is important to understand COVID-19 transmission patterns. In countries with widespread testing, such as Germany and South Korea, mortality rates from COVID-19 have been very low despite high numbers of infected people. To prevent transmission to household contacts, people who are exposed to COVID-19 – whether they have symptoms, or not – need to immediately isolate themselves from their household members. Isolating people after fever, coughing, or other signs appear is too late, because they are capable of transmitting the COVID-19 virus before they develop symptoms. To understand how infections may differently affect high-risk populations, such as in people of color or health care workers, statistics should be separately analyzed and reported in these populations.
Identify and Assist Community Members:
Experiencing hardship due to the above measures.
We need elected officials at local, state, and federal levels to identify and provide direct assistance to people experiencing social and economic hardship due to physical distancing measures or isolation related to COVID-19 exposure or infection.
Households facing food insecurity, unemployment, lack of health insurance, or eviction, need assistance. To prevent community transmission, safe spaces to stay are needed for infected individuals who do not require hospitalization or were discharged from the hospital but remain capable of infecting others. Safe residential spaces are also needed for close contacts of infected people who may not have other options, including health care workers and at-risk populations such as the homeless.