Saturday, May 02, 2020

May 2 Update: US COVID-19 Test Results

by Calculated Risk on 5/02/2020 05:26:00 PM

When I first posted this graph - in mid-March - the US was struggling to conduct much over 10,000 tests per day, while other countries - with smaller populations were testing far more than the US.

Although very late to testing - and slow to ramp up - the US has made significant progress over the last 8 weeks. The US still needs more tests, but there are also some other key hurdles to a successful test-and-trace program.

The US needs to ramp up preparedness on tracing. Some states are hiring people to do this work, but it is not organized at the national level.

The US also needs to reduce the lag time between testing and reporting. I've heard that some people are still waiting days for test results, and that makes isolating (and tracing) more difficult.

And my understanding is higher income areas are seeing more tests than lower income areas. This needs to be fixed.

The US might be able to test 400,000 to 600,000 people per day sometime in May according to Dr. Fauci - and that would probably be sufficient for test and trace.

There were 264,537 test results reported over the last 24 hours (the number of tests yesterday were revised up).

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 11.4% (red line). The US probably needs enough tests to push  the percentage positive below 5%. (probably much lower based on testing in New Zealand).