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COVID-19 Advisory: Model Cities ~ OC Curve ~ Reopening California ~ Pet Adoptions

April 15, 2020
To: All Domestic Employees
From: Pandemic Working Group
Re: COVID-19: Model Cities ~ OC Curve ~ Reopening California ~ Pet Adoptions

Suppression and Lift Strategy

As reported in Science Magazine on April 13, 2020, both Hong Kong and Singapore have demonstrated a high degree of success in controlling the COVID-19 pandemic. Both cities performed extensive testing of those who contacted confirmed cases and required hospitalization of those who test positive, regardless of symptoms, while persons in contact with them were quarantined for two weeks and fitted with wristbands that work with smartphones to track their whereabouts. In this way, governments were able to isolate affected persons and, except for social distancing protocols, to permit others to carry on in a normal fashion. After seeing a spike in cases in mid-March, both cities took more stringent measures (such as sit-down restaurant closures) and subsequently experienced lower infection rates. This course of action is described by University of Hong Kong public health specialist Gabriel Leung as “suppression and lift,” by which governments drive down new infections to a low level, then loosen the reins while watching for a resurgence. The remarkable dashboard below shows a snapshot of buildings with cases within the past 14 days (in red) and those with cases beyond 14 (green).


Orange County Cases

Closer to home, in the seat of AMVAC’s headquarters we are experiencing a downward trend in new COVID case detections. Last Monday, in a county with a population of about 3.2 million, we experienced only eight new cases, which was the lowest total since midMarch. According to the Orange County Business Journal, yesterday was the second consecutive day that the trailing seven-day average had declined, furthering the notion that the county has reached its peak. As we reported last month, Orange County’s Senior Health Officer issued a county-wide COVID order on March 17. We continue to abide by that order and are encouraged by the trend that the pandemic is taking.


Orange County COVID-19 Detections by Day


Governor Newsom Describes Reopening Considerations. Yesterday, as President Trump was publicly shifting his support toward governors to reopen their states, California Governor Gavin Newsom was further delineating how he intended to do so. As reported by us earlier in the week, California is part of what is being called the Western States Pact, which is a coordinated effort with Oregon and Washington to establish the method and means of removing restrictions relating to the pandemic. In particular, Governor Newsom established six factors in his plan: i) expansion of testing, tracing and isolation, ii) protecting the most vulnerable populations, iii) ensuring hospitals have adequate capacity to handle surges, iv) engaging academics and research partners for therapeutics and vaccine development, v) redrawing social distancing criteria for businesses, schools and public gatherings, and vi) maintaining a capacity for reinstating more vigorous controls if needed. On the last point, the governor spoke of the importance of being able to toggle back and forth between strict and loose controls, as the data warrants. This is essentially the same approach being followed in Hong Kong and described by Dr. Cheung as “suppression
and lift.”

Animal Adoptions Up
On a positive note as reported by Wired, in the midst of this pandemic, adoptions from humane shelters have skyrocketed. According to Kitty Block, President and CEO of the Humane Society of United States, the rates of fostering in some cities has jumped by 90 percent, and some shelters in New York City are seeing application numbers at 10 times the normal rate. From a medical point of view, having a pet can lower your blood pressure, reduce your cortisol level and improve your mood. From a personal point of view, there is nothing like a faithful pet to take us out of ourselves. They don’t care about the news – they just care about us.

If you have any questions or comments on this advisory, please contact either kellyw@amvac.com or timd@amvac.com.

 

COVID-19 Advisory: Model Cities ~ OC Curve ~ Reopening California ~ Pet Adoptions