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Tips for Americans at a distance about how to keep coronavirus in check this weekend

Just a few months ago, the coronavirus outbreak in the United States was serious, but it was not such a different picture in Europe. Now that severely affected European countries such as Italy, Britain, France and Spain have had their outbreaks under control while the situation in the US is still bleak.

There is much to be learned from the affected countries who managed to turn things around, as well as those who were so quick and organized that they all eradicated the virus.

Here are some tips from abroad on how Americans can move forward.

Don’t party like it’s 1999

It can be tempting to spend the Fourth of July with dozens of friends in a bar, pool or party. But based on what we know about how the virus spreads, meeting large groups, especially indoors, can be dangerous.

In South Korea, celebrated for delivering a model response to the virus, reopening nightclubs in the capital Seoul led to a peak in the fall in May. The city was forced to close all bars and clubs soon after.

The difference is that South Korea had the virus so well-controlled and had such a well-oiled testing and tracking system in place that the authorities could get in touch with most affected people and contain a group of cases.

In the United States, increases in the case have also forced closures, but many states do not have enough contact trackers to ensure the same containment.
We also know, even from US experience, that bars and nightclubs can be a breeding ground for the virus to spread. More than 150 cases have been linked to a bar in Michigan.

The opening plans have varied between different countries, but in general America has opened much faster than affected countries in Europe. In the UK, for example, pubs are only set to begin opening again on Saturday, 15 weeks after they were ordered closed and as the UK’s curve obviously releases. You can no longer say that about the curve in the US and bars in many states have long been open.

Arizona closed hospitality sites on March 20. But since restaurants were allowed to open again on May 11, many bar owners in metro Phoenix found a loophole by serving food so they could open again. Essentially, it was only a seven-week closure of bars there, compared to Britain’s 15th. Arizona now has one of the nation’s most dramatic peaks in the fall.

So going on a visit to indoor places with large crowds this weekend will undoubtedly help prevent the spread of the virus. In many states, the audience is limited to under 100, 50, or even 10, and some have forced rods again.

Wear that mask

There have been very mixed messages about whether wearing a mask protects you from transmitting or catching Covid-19, with the World Health Organization (WHO) initially not recommending the use of facial coatings. In the United States, the issue has also been politicized – President Trump is never photographed with one and he has been reluctant to tell Americans to do so.
Seven reasons to wear a mask on the 4th of July weekend

But the tide is turning. Health experts are now generally finding that masks are helpful, especially when a virus is widespread in communities. WHO and the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) now recommend worm use in public spaces.

Several studies show that wearing face coatings is effective, but these are yet to be reviewed and there is simply no existing information on how successful they have been in this pandemic.

Nevertheless, it has been pointed out over and over that some Asian countries that are more accustomed to responding to infectious respiratory disease have widespread use of worms in their populations, a practice that studies show helped prevent transmission during the 2003 SARS outbreak. respiratory disease also caused by a type of coronavirus.

Outside Asia, Germany was one of the fastest countries to adopt mandatory nationwide masking, while much of the world was still debating about its effectiveness. There are many reasons for Germany’s success in keeping deaths low and curbing infections, but at least part of its success has been attributed to the wearing of facial coatings.

Even Trump’s most loyal supporters, including Vice President Mike Pence, are beginning to wear face covers. Texas Governor Greg Abbott on Thursday ordered most in the state to mask in public, as the state’s experience is one of the nation’s worst waves of infection. Other states, such as California, have also published public service announcements encouraging people to wear them.

Even if your country has not made it mandatory, if you know that there are cases in your community, you can still wear one. There are even easy ways to do them yourself.

Test if you think you should

At the beginning of the outbreak, it was virtually impossible to test in the United States if you had not been hospitalized. That has changed, and although there may be obstacles, tests are more accessible than they once were.

President Trump has made the substantial argument that the country should reduce the test to keep its affairs down. WHO has reiterated that testing is the key to keeping the virus under control. Sites that have had some of the most successful responses – South Korea, Germany, Iceland, New Zealand and Australia – have, among other things, tested at high speed.

The CDC Council is that if you have symptoms you should call your doctor and ask if tests are recommended. Also, some asymptomatic individuals should be tested under certain specific circumstances.

As a case in Florida, for example, the White House coronavirus coordinator Dr. Deborah Birx all Floridians who have been to mass gatherings for the past four weeks to be tested, even though they do not show symptoms.

Quarantine when asked to (and sometimes even when not)

Widespread testing goes hand in hand with efficient tracking, tracking and quarantine systems.

The idea is that anyone who has recently come in contact with an infected person will be notified by the authorities and asked to quarantine, usually for 14 days. This means that if you have become infected, even if you have no symptoms, you are unlikely to transmit it to anyone outside your home.

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The United States as a whole is struggling to get enough contact trackers to have an effective system up and running, as are some other countries, including the UK. The CDC aimed to have 30 contact trackers for every 100,000 people in the country.

According to Nephron Research, an independent health care research firm that has monitored contact tracking across states, only six states and the District of Columbia have crossed this threshold. They are: Utah (37), South Dakota (39), New York (49), North Dakota (46), Nebraska (38), Massachusetts (36) and District of Columbia (42). Every other state is under-served, which means cases are likely to be detected.

This is especially true for eight states that are hotspots for Covid-19: Nevada (13), Florida (7), Arizona (5), Idaho (14), Texas (11), Tennessee (9), Georgia (2) and South Carolina (8).

If your country has not yet created an effective contact tracking system, there is no reason why you cannot request a test if you suspect that you have come in contact with an infected person.

In the meantime, it may make sense to keep your Fourth of July plans modest and continue practicing at a social distance until the United States has the virus in control.

CNN’s Jacqueline Howard and Natalie Croker contributed to this report.

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