CDC Director Warns About Another COVID-19 Wave During Flu Season

To prepare, Dr. Robert Redfield told The Hill that the country needs to expand its testing and contact tracing capabilities.
Posted at 8:08 AM, May 20, 2020

As of Wednesday, all 50 states are at least partially reopened, after many spent weeks under lockdown-style orders in an effort to stop the spread of the coronavirus. 

To help, the CDC released a 60-page guidance document this week with recommendations on how various kinds of public spaces can safely reopen. 

For schools, the federal agency recommends placing desks at least six feet apart and having students eat lunch in their classrooms. The CDC also suggests restaurants prioritize outdoor seating and that every other row of seats be closed off on public transportation to help lower capacity.

Dr. Robert Redfield, the director of the CDC, told The Hill that he believes states are ready to start lifting some of their coronavirus restrictions if they adhere to the agency's guidelines. 

But Redfield warned that the U.S. needs to prepare for a potential second wave of coronavirus during the fall and winter months when people are often battling the flu. To do so, he says the country should expand its testing and contact tracing capabilities. 

Redfield said states need to present plans to the Trump administration by the end of the month detailing how they'll increase testing. 

As for contact tracing to track the spread of the coronavirus, Redfield says the goal is to more than triple the current number of tracers in the country from 30,000 to 100,000. 

Contains footage from CNN