Monday, March 23, 2020

March 23 Update: US COVID-19 Tests per Day #TestAndTrace

by Calculated Risk on 3/23/2020 05:24:00 PM

Note: Test-and-trace is one of the keys to getting the economy back on track.

1. First, we need to provide our healthcare workers with whatever they need (masks, gowns, ventilators, beds, etc). This should be a national priority.

2. We need a national shelter-in-place order with a national disaster declaration. The sooner as many people as possible stay home, the less the spread.  For those that work - thank you! - we need social distancing.

3. We need test-and-trace ready to go once we have adequate testing capacity.

4. We need to fund and fast track both vaccines and treatment medications.

5. We need swift action on both monetary and fiscal policy (The Fed has delivered "Whatever it takes", but we are still waiting on fiscal policy).

Tests per day is a key number to track (along with actual cases and, sadly, deaths). But total tests were a key for South Korea slowing the spread of COVID-19. South Korea has been conducting 15,000 tests per day with a 51 million population, so the US needs to test around 100,000 per day.

Note: NYC and LA have stopped testing mild cases due to resource constraints. Hopefully testing will continue to improve, and we can test more people - this is important for test-and-trace.

The US conducted 65,840 tests in the last 24 hours.

Note: About 15% of tests were positive in the most recent report (some are still pending). The high percentage of positives indicates limited testing.

COVID-19 Tests per Day Click on graph for larger image.

This data is from the COVID Tracking Project. Some states could do a better job of reporting the number of tests - so this is probably low.

Testing is improving, but needs to double from here to be sufficient for test-and-trace.

Test. Test. Test. But protect our healthcare workers first!