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Policy Review: Literature to Inform COVID-19 Mitigation Following Community Reopening

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This policy review compiles evidence from multiple public health and sector-specific data sources on influenza and pandemic concepts, as well as COVID-19-specific proposals. Its intended use is to inform the discourse around the public health infrastructure needed for safely reopening our communities following the first peak of the epidemic in the U.S. It is a living document, and as such we welcome expert feedback and additions—please reach out to Meredith Matone ( or Deanna Marshall (

In summary, the policy review focuses on three crucial domains:

  • Occupational health: A focus on workplace safety is essential to safely reopening businesses. Among other listed resources, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have developed guidelines for pandemic preparedness that offer a roadmap to employer procedures for creating and maintaining safe workplaces.
  • Surveillance: Before society reopens, it is essential that we define our ongoing system to monitor community health data for the purposes of detecting disease early, identifying hotspots of emerging and re-emerging outbreaks, and monitoring the impact of mitigation interventions. The literature we collected includes strategies around passive surveillance (electronic medical records or traditional sentinel surveillance reporting systems) and participatory approaches.·     
  • Testing: Once surveillance efforts identify emerging hotspots where COVID-19 is reoccurring, testing individuals or groups within these communities can trigger effective public health responses, including quarantine, isolation and social distancing. We describe protocols for testing, which offer alternatives to universal testing, that are potentially expeditious and protocolized ways to test within hot-spotted and population-dense communities.

For more on PolicyLab's COVID-19 response, click here and here.


Matone M, Marshall D