Ashish K. Jha+ Your Authors @ashishkjha Physician, researcher, and advocate for the notion that an ounce of data is worth a thousand pounds of opinion. Director @harvardgh. Soon, Dean @Brown_SPH Jul. 30, 2020 1 min read + Your Authors

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.

Thread

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

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

Right?

7 of them had MORE cases despite running fewer tests*

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

2/4

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

3/5

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

4/5

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

5/6

So what's the new approach?

I wrote about it here. Inspired by @michaelmina_lab

 https://time.com/5873444/radically-rethink-covid-19-testing-approach/ 

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

Fin

One more thing

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

 https://www.nytimes.com/2020/07/28/opinion/coronavirus-testing-antigen-pooling.html 


You can follow @ashishkjha.



Bookmark

____
Tip: mention @threader_app on a Twitter thread with the keyword “compile” to get a link to it.

Enjoy Threader? Sign up.

Since you’re here...

... we’re asking visitors like you to make a contribution to support this independent project. In these uncertain times, access to information is vital. Threader gets 1,000,000+ visits a month and our iOS Twitter client was featured as an App of the Day by Apple. Your financial support will help two developers to keep working on this app. Everyone’s contribution, big or small, is so valuable. Support Threader by becoming premium or by donating on PayPal. Thank you.


Follow Threader