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Stricter Measures to Contain COVID-19 in the U.S. Could Be Implemented

-Editorial

As the United States is seeing a heavy increase in COVID-19 cases, new stricter efforts could be implemented to stop the spread of the virus.

New coronavirus daily cases in the United States hit another record high Wednesday, with 140,543 reported and more expected before the end of the day.

Wednesday was also the ninth straight day of new cases topping 100,000. The second-highest number, 136,325, was reported Tuesday.

President-Elect Joe Biden unveiled his plan to combat COVID-19 and has published it on his transition website. His plan ensures that all Americans have access to regular, reliable, and free testing. Fully use the Defense Production Act to ramp up production of masks, face shields, and other PPE so that the national supply of personal protective equipment exceeds demand and stores and stockpiles — especially in hard-hit areas that serve disproportionately vulnerable populations — are fully replenished.

Imperial County has seen a big increase of COVID-19 numbers in the last couple of days reaching 600 active cases on Nov. 12.

Imperial County Health Officer Dr. Stephen Munday said to be pleased with the plan President-elect Biden presented, especially in the areas of having more testing and contact tracing.

“Contact tracing is important so we can know where is the virus spreading,” Munday said. “I’m glad to see the President-Elect will work science-based data that will help contain the virus,”

He was glad to see a more proactive approach and that Biden plans to work again with the World Health Organization.

One of the President-elect’s coronavirus advisers floated the idea of a nationwide coronavirus lockdown to rein in the illness and rejuvenate the economy as new cases climb once again.

Michael Osterholm, a University of Minnesota expert on infectious diseases, said in an interview that a four- to six-week lockdown could both control the virus’ spread and benefit the economy.

Munday said that while he understands the part having isolation as containing the virus, he questioned how will this be implemented.

“A nationwide lockdown will have everyone isolated in their homes but people would still need to go out and get food. My question would be how this would take effect,” Munday said.

The El Centro Regional Medical Center and Pioneers Memorial Hospital reported an uptick of new COVID hospitalizations. ECRMC is working to expand its beds and be ready to treat patients.

Imperial County is in the purple tier which is the most restricted level in California. When asked if additional measures can be taken given that Imperial County at the most critical level, Munday said he has the authority to take stricter measures if he needs to.

“We could take actions but it would be based on scientific data before we decide on doing something,” Munday stated.

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