Experts hope public precautions keep spread in check.
By John Diedrich and Daphne Chen
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
June 18, 2020
…Amanda Simanek, an epidemiologist at UW-Milwaukee’s Zilber School of Public Health, would like to see more metrics, such as how many cases don’t have a known source of infection — which states like Oregon are reporting. That indicates an infection may have broken out of one network, such as a meatpacking plant, and spread into the wider community, she said.
Under the safer-at-home order, it was easier for contact tracers to determine a source of infection because people probably had few daily interactions, Simanek said. As people open up their social circles, tracing will become more difficult.
Simanek said people’s efforts to socially distance over the past four months bought crucial time for doctors and scientists to focus on hiring contact tracers, get protective equipment, expand the number of labs doing COVID-19 testing and find more effective treatments.
“If we had let it rip through our state or country in the meantime, think of all those people who would have gotten (the disease) without the benefit of that,” Simanek said. “If the public health measures we enact work, it’ll seem like they weren’t necessary in the first place. And that’s honestly the best-case scenario.”