Pelosi To Trump: Sign Testing Plan; Administration Sends N.C. Rapid Tests
News outlets reports on the lack of a national testing strategy, who's getting tests, ways of testing, including looking in sewer tunnels, and contact tracing .
Pelosi Blasts Trump For Not Agreeing To Testing Strategy
Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) on Monday blasted the Trump administration for declining to sign on to Democrats' plan for a COVID-19 testing strategy, despite earlier public statements from Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin indicating that there was an agreement. "Today, we are waiting for an important response on several concerns, including on action to crush the virus. Ten days after Secretary Mnuchin went on CNBC to declare that he was accepting our testing plan, the Administration still refuses to do so," Pelosi wrote. (Marcos, 10/26)
North Carolina To Get Nearly 3.2M BinaxNOW Virus Tests
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced Monday it’s sending nearly 3.2 million rapid coronavirus tests to North Carolina. The Abbott BinaxNOW COVID-19 point of care antigen tests can diagnose coronavirus infection in as little as fifteen minutes. (10/26)
More And More Colleges Testing Student Poop For Coronavirus
Twice a week, mathematics professor Andrea Bruder squats in the sewage tunnels below South Hall, a mostly freshman dorm at Colorado College. She wears head-to-toe protective gear and holds a plastic ladle in one hand and a to-go coffee cup in the other. Bruder hovers above an opening in a large metal pipe and patiently waits for a student to flush. That flush will flood the pipes with just enough water to carry human waste down to her ladle, then to her coffee cup and eventually to a lab for processing. (Nadworny, 10/26)
In developments on COVID-19 tracing —
North Carolina Health News:
Will People Use New NC Contact Tracing App?
About a quarter of a million people in North Carolina have now downloaded a cell phone app that alerts them when they come into close contact with someone who has tested positive for the coronavirus. The idea behind the app, launched by the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services on Sept. 22, is to help quickly track infections and slow the spread of COVID-19, which is increasing dramatically across the state and the country as the weather turns colder. (Barnes, 10/27)
COVID-19 Contact Tracer Shares Difficulties: 'Just A Challenge Getting Them On The Phone To Begin With'
Isaias Garcia doesn't know people he's talked to in the last couple of months. He's a bilingual contact tracer in Durham County. "I've had family members who have had COVID and they didn't know certain resources were available to them," he said. ... There are 1,500 full time and part-time staff supporting contact tracing efforts, including 951 Community Care of North Carolina tracers. Garcia said they still have issues with people picking up their calls. In the past month, the Department of Health and Human Services said 63% of people contacted by tracers responded or were helpful in some way. There were more problems when they started tracing because calls like Garcia's were coming up as spam. (Chapin, 10/26)
The Washington Post:
D.C. Says 190,000 Have Activated DC CAN Coronavirus Contact-Tracing Tool
About 190,000 D.C. residents have activated the contact-tracing option on their smartphones since the city joined a new program last week. The pace of residents joining the program, operated by Apple and Google, places D.C. among a group of cities that have most quickly embraced the technology, said city Health Director LaQuandra Nesbitt. It comes as several states nationwide are recording a surge in coronavirus infections, while numbers in the greater Washington region have mostly held steady in recent days. (Zauzmer, 10/26)