It’s the Midday Healthwatch with Dr. Leana Wen. As the state of Maryland passes the 100,000 mark of confirmed COVID-19 cases, our state continues to see a low overall positivity rate for COVID-19 infections. Last week, the positivity rate in Baltimore City fell below 5%, according to the state Health Department. But the national picture is much more grim. Last Thursday, Dr. Robert Redfield, the director of the CDC, warned that without adherence to Coronavirus precautions, the worst public health crisis in US history could occur in the fall.
Several hundred cases of Coronavirus have been reported around the country among students, teachers and staff at schools that have reopened, and worldwide, some 800 million children don’t have access to basic hand washing at school, according to the World Health Organization. School districts in and around Baltimore will be opening virtually for the first term. President Trump continues to state falsehoods about children and COVID-19 – and to urge schools to open for in-person learning. Testing, with results delivered accurately and quickly, remains the key to responding to super spreader events in schools and elsewhere. And for children and adults who need to be tested, what’s the best kind of test to get?
Dr. Wen is an emergency physician and the former Health Commissioner of Baltimore City. She’s also a columnist for the Washington Post and a visiting professor and a distinguished fellow at the George Washington University School of Public Health.