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Testing and Contact Tracing

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With all this holiday travel, why don’t airports have COVID-sniffing dogs?

Data and Metrics Testing and Contact Tracing

A: As noted in prior posts, highly trained dogs have the incredible capacity to successfully detect the odor of people with COVID-19 by sniffing human sweat. Pilot programs using COVID-sniffing dogs to detect infection among potential passengers have already launched in airports in Finland, the United Arab Emirates, and most recently Chile. These pilot projects

What’s up with the new CDC guidelines for shorter quarantine periods?

Testing and Contact Tracing

A: The guidelines represent a “most bang for your buck” approach to preventing transmission of COVID-19 at the population level–but quarantining for 14 days is still the recommended and safest approach. While our scientific understanding of how long it takes to develop COVID-19 symptoms after being exposed (science term: incubation period) still says up to

Why are universities doing things like testing wastewater and pooling spit?

Testing and Contact Tracing

A: Testing samples of wastewater and pooled spit in places with communal living, such as colleges and universities, provide several valuable benefits in detecting COVID-19. TESTING OF ASYMPTOMATIC PEOPLE. When people are living and socializing together in the same building, there is a risk of asymptomatic spread. If you wait until people are symptomatic to

I heard there was a large COVID-19 outbreak at an overnight summer school retreat in WI. What happened?!

Infection and Spread Testing and Contact Tracing

A: Retreat organizers relied primarily on a test-based strategy for preventing individuals with COVID-19 from attending the retreat and didn’t employ other measures to prevent transmission of COVID-19 among attendees. This did not work. Consequently, a single attendee who became ill the day after arriving led to 116 other attendees (76% of attendees) becoming a

Does the new CDC guidance about avoiding 15 minutes cumulative contact mean with masks or without masks?

Infection and Spread Masks Testing and Contact Tracing

A: In the community setting, someone who meets the criteria for being a close contact to a case of COVID-19, meets the criteria REGARDLESS of whether or not they or the case had on a mask. Why is someone considered a close contact regardless of whether they had on a mask? While cloth masks are

I can’t help but notice how well Maine is controlling COVID-19. What’s their secret? Rural state? Rich state? Not many older people?

Data and Metrics Infection and Spread Testing and Contact Tracing

A: Nope to those three, but yes to leadership, preparation, testing & tracing, and calm, science-based communication. It’s true: Maine is doing very well by almost all metrics used to track the epidemic. While 21 states had their highest daily case counts in the last 3 weeks, Maine’s single day record cases happened way back

Why wasn’t a test-only strategy sufficient for preventing transmission of COVID-19 in the White House?

Testing and Contact Tracing

A: Testing individuals for COVID-19, while a necessary component of our public health strategy, doesn’t 100% prevent those who are infected with SARS-CoV-2 from transmitting the infection to others BEFORE they test positive. The type of testing strategy used by the White House was to screen individuals for COVID-19 using a rapid antigen-based test (i.e.,