Sunday, April 12, 2020

April 12 Update: US COVID-19 Test Results

by Calculated Risk on 4/12/2020 05:02:00 PM

My mistake, there is a testing czar.  From Bloomberg: U.S. Testing Capacity in ‘Ballpark’ for May Reopening, Czar Says

Admiral Brett Giroir said in an interview Saturday the U.S. is working on four forms of diagnostics it needs to reopen the economy: widespread surveillance to catch new flare-ups; testing of people who have specific symptoms; contact-tracing for confirmed cases; and antibody testing to know who’s recovered from the virus, which he said is weeks away.
I doubt we will be ready by May. I wish he'd identify for the public the bottlenecks in the testing processes. It does sound like he is working on Test-and-Trace, but he is not regularly updating the public on the testing status, and also not providing data on the accuracy, sensitivity and specificity of the various tests (accurate tests are important).

Test-and-trace is a key criterion in starting to reopen the country.   My current guess is test-and-trace will require around 300,000 tests per day at first since the US is far behind the curve.  Some scientists believe we need around 800,000 tests per day.

Note: The Financial Times reports that Germany is doing more than 50,000 tests per day (with about one-fourth of the US population). That would be 200,000 in the US.  I rounded up to 300,000 per day since the US is so behind on testing. But there are recommendations that Germany needs 200,000 tests per day to do test-and-trace.  (800,000 adjusted for population).

This is just test results reported daily.

There were 140,226 test results reported over the last 24 hours.

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

This data is from the COVID Tracking Project.

The percent positive over the last 24 hours was 21% (red line).  The US probably needs enough tests to push  the percentage below 5% (probably much lower based on testing in New Zealand).

All experts agree: We need many more tests!