Alex Azar testifies in front of a House committee
PHOTO: CSPAN

Azar: Asymptomatic People Must Be Tested

WASHINGTON, D.C.–The federal government may be looking at some new testing strategies to try to slow the surges of coronavirus across the country, especially in some states in the south. Alex Azar, Health and Human Services Secretary and former Eli Lilly executive, said Sunday that the U.S. must get control of the virus.

“In addition to the traditional contact tracing, what we’re doingnow is we’ve got to test entire communities,” he said on NBC’s “Meet the Press”. “Find all positive cases, cause this is a very different virus with this asymptomatic spreading.”

Indiana is able to test anyone who needs or wants a test, insome cases conducting as many as 10,000 tests in a day. Nearly half a million Hoosiers have been tested, so far.

Azar said what’s different about the virus since the pandemic started to spread is the way it’s being treated.

“We now have treatments: steroids, Remdesivir, convalescent plasma. If you’ve had COVID, call your blood bank, American Red Cross and please donate plasma to increase our supplies.”

Azar said that in many of the states where the virus is surging right now, the governors are reporting that the majority of new cases are from people 35 and under, who are largely asymptomatic.

“We’ve got our fatality rates and hospitalization rates the lowest they’ve been in two months. But, this is a very serious situation,” he said.

People who have the virus, even though they may be able to handle it easily, could still give it to others who have underlying conditions or who are elderly and cannot handle it as well.

Last week Gov. Eric Holcomb and state health commissioner Dr. Kris Box, warned that everyone should wear a mask while in public, and that people had been spreading the virus in restaurants and bars, going out drinking anbd taking the mask off as the night wears on.

Indiana is still on track to enter the final phase of the state’s re-opening plan on July 4.

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