Experts and medical professionals push back against the “Reopen” movement

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While a small vocal group of protestors are demanding that the state reopen on May 1, experts say that we must have more testing for a safe reopen.

RALEIGH – While a small group of organized activists protest against widely popular social distancing measures designed to save lives, experts and medical professionals are urging Americans across the country to be patient until testing capacity increases. Researchers at the University of Harvard suggest that the country needs to triple its coronavirus testing capacities to begin to reach the benchmarks needed to ease stay-at-home orders and other COVID-19 restrictions for the country. 

Dr. Doyle Graham, retired pathologist and Dean of Medical Education at Duke University said, “To end social isolation before we have done sufficient testing to both isolate the infected and evaluate their contacts is an incredibly selfish, ignorant act.  We are responsible to each other, to the whole community, not to just ourselves and the people we love”.

North Carolina’s COVID-19 numbers are improving and according to The University of Washington, North Carolina has passed its peak number of deaths. However, experts warn that  hospitals run a great risk of being overrun if social distancing measures are lifted too soon and without adequate testing as demonstrated in other countries like Japan.

Four weeks ago, the White House promised to distribute 27 million tests to states by the end of March but by late April, only 4 million have been distributed. Without adequate test kits from the federal government, states are relying on public and private sectors to obtain the testing that helps track and control the rapidly spreading coronavirus. 

Lack of widespread testing will remain the single biggest impediment to getting the country back to normalcy. Every community across the country needs adequate resources, access to care, and proper equipment to combat the virus, but the federal government continues to put all of us on the back burner.

Eleanore Wood

Digital Director