By Aaron Edlin and Bryce Nesbitt, STAT, April 6, 2020
Re-opening a nightclub in New York seems crazy at this point, as that’s just the kind of setting in which Covid-19 can spread like wildfire. But it wouldn’t be crazy if all of the workers and patrons had previously had Covid-19 and recovered from it.
Someday soon there will be millions of people in the U.S. who have recovered from Covid-19. The best evidence suggests that they can’t get infected again soon and won’t infect others by shedding the virus.
That suggests a path to run essential services more safely and to reopen sectors of the economy faster than would otherwise be possible. New York, Washington, California, and other states with high caseloads should rush to set up credible, verifiable, and voluntary programs to identify individuals as “certified recovered” from Covid-19. Researchers in Germany have recently proposed a similar program there.