Lawmakers say nationwide testing strategy is needed to prevent another COVID outbreak

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WASHINGTON, D.C. – With their eyes on the fall, lawmakers say in order to prevent another major COVID outbreak, the country needs a nationwide testing strategy.

NewsChannel 34’s Joe Khalil shows us how officials plan to stop the virus for good.

LAWMAKERS SAY A NATIONAL TESTING AND TRACING STRATEGY IS THE KEY TO RE-OPENING AMERICA’S ECONOMY.

“The only way we have to defeat this virus is to keep people who are positive, who are contagious away from other people.”

CONGRESSMAN RAUL RUIZ SAYS BY THE FALL, STATES MUST DO WIDESPREAD COVID TESTING AND IDENTIFY EVERYONE WHO COMES IN CONTACT WITH POSITIVE CASES.

BUT, HE SAYS STATES CAN’T DO IT ALONE.

“We need the administration to sit down with their public health experts, to help define what what a methodology should look like.”

Ruiz says testing and tracing strategies aren’t one size fits all and may differ state by state.

But no matter the stategy, thousands of trained people will be needed to put it into action.”

“Now we need that public health workforce. The men and women who are going to go out there and do the contact tracing.”

CONGRESSMAN AMI BERA SAYS CALIFORNIA IS ALREADY TRAINING THOUSANDS OF CONTACT TRACERS.

HE SAYS THEY’LL WORK WITH COUNTY HEALTH OFFICIALS TO ENFORCE ISOLATED QUARANTINES.

“So we don’t have to shut down the entire country, but we can shut down clusters.”

“In the testing blueprint, we talk about proactive surveillance.”

DR. DEBORAH BIRX SAYS IN SETTINGS WHERE OUTBREAKS ARE COMMON, EVERYONE SHOULD BE TESTED.

“Proactively go and test everyone in meat packing plants. To proactively go and test 100 percent of the residents and workers in every single long term care facility.”

BIRX SAYS CATCHING ASYMPTOMATIC CASES EARLY IS THE BEST WAY TO PREVENT OUTBREAKS.

IN WASHINGTON, I’M JOE KHALIL.

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