A call for concerted action on COVID-19

A group of experts in health, education and the economy is calling for common, comprehensive action across U.S. states to fight COVID-19.

The COVID Collaborative, co-founded by Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health Dean Michelle Williams, issued a “Call to Action to Defeat COVID-19 and Promote National Recovery and Renewal” on December 10, 2020. A bipartisan group of governors representing 1 in 3 Americans expressed support for the recommendations outlined in the document.

The Call to Action highlights five key ways of responding to the pandemic, including testing, contact tracing, public health and social measures, vaccines and treatments, and common measures of success.

For example, in the testing arena, the document calls for ensuring the wide availability of PCR diagnostic tests and expanding access to rapid screening tests.

The document recommends boosting capacity in contact tracing, but acknowledges that such efforts may not be very effective when community spread of COVID-19 is high. Adequate support is urged for people who need to isolate or quarantine.

The Call to Action stresses the importance of promoting personal measures to reduce disease transmission—hand washing, physical distancing, and mask wearing. It also suggests using mask requirements in some cases, and making masks available in public places linked with high risk of transmission. The document also recommends issuing clear, consistent guidance on safety measures for individuals, businesses, schools, and travelers.

Regarding vaccines, the document urges clearly communicating with the public about data on safety and effectiveness, and on the vaccine approval process. It also calls for building confidence in a COVID-19 vaccine by having trusted messengers discuss its safety and effectiveness, and by partnering with providers and community leaders in high-risk communities.

Read a COVID Collaborative press release: Bipartisan Assembly of Governors Support Call to Action to Defeat COVID-19

Learn more

COVID Collaborative, Ad Council launch vaccine education campaign (Harvard Chan School news)