By Brad Broker
Expect Round 2 of the coronavirus battle to return next Winter. As the U.S. nears the peak of the COVID-19 crisis, Dr. Robert Redfield, Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, is already expecting another big hit of the virus before the end of the year.
“We have to assume this is like other respiratory viruses,” Dr. Redfield said today on Good Morning America. “It is critical that we plan that this virus is likely to follow a seasonality pattern similar to flu, and we’re going to have another battle with it upfront and aggressively next winter.”
Most important to the success of beating or preventing future coronavirus infections, according to Redfield, is the implementation of immunity testing.
“Individuals who develop antibodies will have protected immunity,” said Redfield. “The question is for how long? There is a limit to the time one is going to be infectious.”
Antibody testing and contact tracing will be crucial to determine when to reopen and to sustain communities to avoid future shutdowns.
Redfield said the country needs to reopen correctly and the decisions need to be data driven on a community-by-community basis. He said up to 20 states are in a position where they may be able to begin to reopen by May 1. But it can not happen across the U.S. all at once.
“The social distancing that the American people all embraced has led to the overall mortality, while sadly still too high, was far less than we anticipated,” said Redfield. So any reopening process “has to be done very carefully.”
As of Wednesday afternoon, over 601,000 cases of COVID-19 have been reported in the U.S. including 24,429 deaths.