Ashish K. Jha, MD, MPH
+ Your AuthorsArchive @ashishkjha Physician, researcher, advocate for the notion that an ounce of data is worth a thousand pounds of opinion Views here surely my own Professor, Dean @Brown_SPH Jul. 30, 2020 1 min read

Let’s talk about latest on testing in America

Our testing infrastructure showing very serious strain

In 14 states, the number of tests conducted yesterday was DOWN from the number of tests conducted 2 weeks ago.

Is this a problem?

Yes, if you look at the data.


So number of tests (using 7d moving avg) down across 14 states.

Ah – you say – that’s fine because their outbreaks are getting better.


7 of them had MORE cases despite running fewer tests*

*Testing doesn’t cause cases. Tested less found more cases. That’s bad.


In an additional 5 states, the testing less while seeing large increases in % of tests positive.

So in states like Nebraska, fewer tests, fewer cases, but much higher % pos means we are just missing a lot more infections than we were 2 weeks ago.

Also bad


Finally, in 2 states:

tests are down
cases are down AND
% positives are down

This is Arizona and South Carolina and this is progress.

But, their % positives are still way high (20% in AZ, 15% in SC) so they are still in bad shape.

Just better than 2 weeks ago


So in 12 of the 14 states where testing is down, things are worse

And given folks we would like to be testing (but aren’t)– healthcare workers, etc, there is zero reason we should be seeing falling testing numbers

But we are

And that's why we need a whole new approach


So what's the new approach?

I wrote about it here. Inspired by @michaelmina_lab 

It basically argues that cheap, fast tests better than slow, more accurate, expensive tests.


One more thing

The great @aaronecarroll has a similar idea in yesterday's @nytopinion that is super well written and thoughtful. 

You can follow @ashishkjha.


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