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Letter: Time to rethink COVID strategy

Letter: Time to rethink COVID strategy


There is a tremendous amount of time, energy, resources, and money being spent on reactive measures to identify and treat those with the corona virus and those who may have come in contact with those that have it. Positive cases of the virus have gone way up. Medical staff, equipment, and treatment facilities are at or near capacity. The current reactive approach to controlling the spread of the virus doesn’t seem to be working. This reactive strategy doesn’t stop the spread it only identifies it as it happens. 

It’s time to rethink the strategy, from completely reactive to aggressive proactive measures. 

Local, county, and state officials need to implement preventive actions in their areas of authority to keep the populace as safe as possible from the virus. These actions may increase costs and annoyance to organizations, staff, suppliers, customers, and the general public, but it will decrease infection rates and save lives. 

Proactive actions include mandates to wear masks in public, cleaning surfaces used by the public regularly and often, making hand sanitizers readily available to staff and the public, signs to encourage the use of those sanitizers, social distancing notices at all entrances, daily checks of staff for symptoms, tighter restrictions on sizes of gatherings, etc. But mandates are not enough. 

We will need enforcement for these mandates to be effective. How that should be handled needs to be discussed. Penalties for noncompliance need to be established and imposed. 

Our local, county, and state officials have enforcement powers for many things already that affect public safety, traffic violations for example. Utilizing those enforcement powers that already exist may be one of the options to consider. 

Our public safety is at risk and the risk is rising. Let’s get proactive governor, state legislators, county and city officials, and get this virus spread controlled. 

Dave Halvorson, New Salem


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