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On March 19, 2020, California became the first state to issue a stay-at-home order in response to the evolving coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. It was quickly recognized that widespread diagnostic testing with contact tracing, used successfully in countries such as South Korea and Singapore, would not be available in time to significantly contain the spread of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2).1,2 Over the following month, additional nonpharmaceutical mitigation strategies, including school closures, bans on large in-person gatherings, and partial closures of restaurants and retail stores, were applied to “flatten the epidemic curve” and limit the peak effects of a surge of patients on health care systems. Yet, even as the benefits of mitigation bundles have not fully been realized, there are widespread calls to reopen businesses, given the immense economic and social consequences of extreme physical distancing strategies.
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Corresponding Author: Eli N. Perencevich, MD, MS, Iowa City VA Health Care System, 601 Hwy 6 W, Iowa City, IA 52246 (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Published Online: April 29, 2020. doi:10.1001/jama.2020.7477
Conflict of Interest Disclosures: Dr Diekema reported receiving research funding from bioMerieux. No other disclosures were reported.
Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the position or policy of the Department of Veterans Affairs or the US government.
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