This post originally appeared at Fellowship of the MIncs

In a document that was updated on July 26, 2020, with the Orwellian title “Interim Operational Considerations for Implementing the Shielding Approach to Prevent COVID-19 Infections in Humanitarian Settings,” the CDC proposed a “shielding approach” to reduce the number of severe COVID-19 cases “by limiting contact between individuals at higher risk of developing severe disease (‘high-risk’) and the general population (‘low-risk’)” by “temporarily” relocating the high-risk individuals to safe or “green zones” established at the household, neighborhood, camp/sector or community level where they “would have minimal contact with family members and other low-risk residents.”

The CDC maintains that “physically separating high-risk individuals from the general population” could “prioritize the use of the limited available resources and avoid implementing long-term containment measures among the general population.”

“High-risk individuals” are defined as “older adults” (over 50, especially aged 85 or older) and people of any age who have “co-morbidities” or “serious underlying medical conditions” (see the list of those conditions here), all of whom are at higher risk for severe illness or death from COVID-19.

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This is how “high-risk individuals” would be segregated:

  • At the household level, “high-risk individuals” like elderly parents would be confined to a specific room or area, physically isolated from other household members.
  • At the neighborhood level, “high-risk individuals” from 5-10 households would be grouped together in a small camp or area. Neighbors are to “swap households to accommodate high-risk individuals” — I have no idea what this sentence means.
  • At the “camp/sector” level, a maximum of 50 high-risk individuals would be physically isolated together in “shelters” such as schools and community buildings.

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