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Reopening Society and the Need for Real-Time Assessment of COVID-19 at the Community Level

Educational Objective
To understand the importance assessing COVID-19 at the community level before reopening society
1 Credit CME

Through May 13, 2020, approximately 1.39 million cases of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) have been reported in the United States (by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) and more than 4.3 million cases of COVID-19 have been reported from 188 countries.1 There is an urgent need for COVID-19 data, including community-level incidence, spectrum of disease, diagnostic test penetration, and proportion of the community with protective immunity to severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) (herd immunity). These data are vital to understanding where communities are on the continuum of COVID-19 cumulative incidence and prevalence and how nonpharmaceutical interventions can be titrated to reopen business and society. Real-time incidence and seroepidemiologic data are also essential to plan scenarios for the development of COVID-19 vaccines and therapeutics. Cross-sectional community surveys combined with seroepidemiology can help inform the present and help navigate the path forward.

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Article Information

Corresponding Author: David L. Swerdlow, MD, Pfizer Vaccines, 500 Arcola Rd, Collegeville, PA 19426 (david.swerdlow@pfizer.com).

Published Online: May 15, 2020. doi:10.1001/jama.2020.7872

Conflict of Interest Disclosures: Dr Angulo reported being employed by Pfizer Vaccines and owning stock and stock options in Pfizer. Dr Finelli reported being employed by Merck & Co Inc and may own stock in the company. Dr Swerdlow reported being employed by Pfizer Vaccines and owning stock and stock options in Pfizer, as well as providing overviews of SARS and Middle East respiratory syndrome epidemiology to a consulting firm for a minimal honorarium.

Funding/Support: This work was supported by Pfizer.

Role of the Funder/Sponsor: Pfizer Inc reviewed the manuscript and approved the decision to submit the manuscript for publication.

References
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