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From Mitigation to Containment of the COVID-19 PandemicPutting the SARS-CoV-2 Genie Back in the Bottle

Educational Objective
Understanding how two different approaches-containment and mitigation-can affect COVID-19 transmission
1 Credit CME

As part of pandemic preparedness, epidemiologists promote “containment strategies” designed to prevent community transmission. For coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), countries like South Korea—an example of successful containment—had a coordinated governmental response, testing on a massive scale, and prompt contact tracing and quarantine.1 The first cases of South Korea’s COVID-19 outbreak were in mid-January; by late February, South Korea was testing more than 10 000 people daily and, as a result, cases peaked on February 28. Since April 5, 2020, no more than 53 new cases daily have occurred nationwide.1

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Article Information

Corresponding Author: Rochelle P. Walensky, MD, MPH, Division of Infectious Diseases, Massachusetts General Hospital, 55 Fruit St, Bul130, Boston, MA 02114 (rwalensky@mgh.harvard.edu).

Conflict of Interest Disclosures: Dr del Rio reported grants from NIH/NIAID. No other disclosures were reported.

Published Online: April 17, 2020. doi:10.1001/jama.2020.6572

Additional Contributions: We thank Loren D. Walensky, MD, PhD, for his critical review and editing of the manuscript and Nicole McCann for her technical assistance.

References
1.
Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Accessed April 11, 2020. https://www.cdc.go.kr/board/board.es?mid=a30402000000&bid=0030
2.
Markel  H , Stern  AM , Navarro  JA ,  et al.  Nonpharmaceutical influenza mitigation strategies, US communities, 1918-1920 pandemic.   Emerg Infect Dis. 2006;12(12):1961-1964. PubMedGoogle ScholarCrossref
3.
Ahmed  F , Zviedrite  N , Uzicanin  A .  Effectiveness of workplace social distancing measures in reducing influenza transmission.   BMC Public Health. 2018;18(1):518. doi:10.1186/s12889-018-5446-1PubMedGoogle ScholarCrossref
4.
New York Times. Coronavirus in the U.S.: latest map and case count. April 11, 2020. Accessed April 15, 2020. https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2020/us/coronavirus-us-cases.html
5.
Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation. COVID-19 projections assuming full social distancing through May 2020. Published April 10, 2020. Accessed April 15, 2020. https://covid19.healthdata.org/united-states-of-america/kentucky
6.
Ferretti  L , Wymant  C , Kendall  M ,  et al.  Quantifying SARS-CoV-2 transmission suggests epidemic control with digital contact tracing.   Science. March 2020:eabb6936. doi:10.1126/science.abb6936PubMedGoogle Scholar
7.
Yancy  CW .  COVID-19 and African Americans.   JAMA. Published online April 15, 2020. doi:10.1001/jama.2020.6548PubMedGoogle Scholar
8.
Makridis  CA , Hartley  JS . The cost of COVID-19: a rough estimate of the 2020 US GDP impact. Mercatus Center, George Mason University. Published April 6, 2020. Accessed April 11, 2020. https://www.mercatus.org/system/files/makridis-cost-covid-19-mercatus-v1.pdf.
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