CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – On Wednesday, MUSC released a new data analytics and projection system, the MUSC COVID-19 Epidemiology Intelligence Project, which indicates that the COVID-19 impact on SC will be less severe than initially expected. The system is constantly analyzing new data, MUSC is confident that they have the capacity to manage the expected surge.
While this prospect is encouraging and has prompted discussions about “reopening” the economy, MUSC cautions that “a second group of COVID-19 patients may emerge as a result of relaxed social distancing restrictions, which could reverse or cripple any economic progress.”
With that in mind, MUSC has identified five essential actions that must be taken “to avoid a second round of impact from COVID-19 and to move forward as a statewide community:”
- Staged Economic Revitalization: MUSC proposes a high impact, low risk model “prioritizing the highest impact economic drivers that represent the lowest risk” of contracting and spreading COVID-19
- Disease Testing: MUSC believes it is important to continue improving testing capabilities, and to test symptomatic patients.
- Immunity Testing: MUSC is working to develop ‘antibody’ tests, which reveal if an individual has already been exposed to COVID-19 and developed antibodies. Currently, experts believe it is likely that antibodies confer immunity.
- Contact Tracing: MUSC is working with the Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) to establish a system of identifying, tracing, and notifying individuals who may have been exposed so that they can quarantine.
- Protecting the Vulnerable: Certain groups should remain “socially distanced, protected, and supported until the epidemic is well controlled.” This includes the elderly, minority communities, and persons with chronic diseases and weakened immune systems.