Biden Announces New ‘Test & Treat’ Program For COVID-19
The Biden administration disclosed a COVID-19 preparedness plan aimed at moving back to normal life and preparing for another variant.
“This plan lays out the roadmap to help us fight Covid-19 in the future as we move America from crisis to a time when Covid-19 does not disrupt our daily lives and is something we prevent, protect against and treat,” a summary of the plan reads.
The plan follows major cities’ decision to drop masking and vaccine requirements. The new plan includes a “Test to Treat” initiative, first announced by President Joe Biden during his State of the Union address. The new initiative seeks to ease and speed up the complicated process of obtaining medication for the virus.
“Test to Treat” locations will open at CVS, Walgreens, Kroger and nursing homes across the country. The locations will allow patients to get tested for free, and if positive, receive antiviral pills immediately. The Pfizer antiviral pill, Paxlovid, was authorized by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration last year and has proven successful in cutting down on hospitalizations for people who test positive.
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The plan outlines new precautions in schools and businesses to avoid having to close everything down again. Some of the precautions include increasing ventilation, sick leave and a robust child care system.
Wastewater tracking will also be utilized to detect a spike in infections up to six days before receiving a diagnosis. Additional measures encouraged by the administration include getting the younger generation vaccinated as the vaccine is confirmed safe for them, providing mental health support for health care workers and making COVID tests more widely available.
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