Workers disinfect the buildings that host the Region Lazio in Rome, on March 8, 2020.

Cecilia Fabiano/LaPresse via AP

Italy has become a new epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak, with over 41,000 cases and 3,400 deaths.

Two northern regions, Lombardy and Veneto, reported the country’s first cases on February 21. 

However, their responses differed: Veneto issued multiple rounds of testing for residents, even those without symptoms, and isolated patients that tested positive. Lombardy lagged in testing those who were asymptomatic.

Nearly a month later, Lombardy has reported far more cases than Veneto — indicating that aggressive testing and isolation can be an effective response.

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When two regions in northern Italy realized the new coronavirus had been spreading undetected through their communities in February, their governments

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