The impact of COVID-19 has substantially affected the lives of millions of Americans. The one question on everyone’s mind is when will this pandemic subside. Workers across the country are eager to return to their offices. People are finding some semblance of hope as politicians begin preparations for “Phase 1” of reopening their states. And when there is hope, there is also fear: the possibility of a resurgence of cases. Leaders in the medical industry have made one thing clear and that is the only safe way back to work is through rigorous testing.
Current Issues with COVID-19 Daily Testing Volume
Epidemiologists have argued as to what the correct daily testing volume should be in America. The one consensus is that there is not enough testing taking place. The initial goal was to flatten the curve by practicing social distancing, staying at home, and self-quarantining procedures. Now we need to do even more to return to work and improve our economy for individuals and local communities. This where there could be an advantage to additional testing. Epidemiologists have agreed that the best outcome is for 10% or less of daily COVID-19 tests to come back positive. This 10% benchmark has also been recommended by the World Health Organization as a goal for countries looking to reopen. The theory is that when 90% of tests come back negative, a country or state is testing enough of the population to obtain accurate results. If the ratio of positive tests is higher than 10%, it is likely that infected individuals are not getting tested and are potentially spreading the disease. According to Mass General Hospital, South Korea has tested such a large portion of their population that only 3% of tests are coming back positive. To have safe return to work policies we need to perform more testing. The most effective solution against COVID-19 is for patients to quarantine efficiently. At this point, we are still not testing enough people daily to meet this benchmark.
COVID-19 Testing & Antibody Testing
When it comes to PCR testing or antibody testing for COVID-19 there may be some confusion about what type of test is most appropriate. Recently, a variety of antibody tests have been approved for use. News about antibody testing has led to a large uptick in patients seeking these tests. But like the original COVID-19 tests, it is paramount that only FDA approved tests are used. There was a long process by which clinical labs like TruGenX offered COVID-19 tests and received approval to distribute them. We are still at the beginning phases for antibody testing. Dr. Facui (member of White House Task Force for COVID-19 response) has urged caution around antibody testing because of concerns that it will create a false confidence. Until more tests are approved and made widely available, COVID-19 tests remain the standard. And for good reason. COVID-19 tests tell us whether an individual is currently carrying the virus or not. An antibody test provides information on whether antibodies are present. Knowing whether the virus is present is substantially more valuable than knowing if antibodies are present, especially for businesses. For businesses, antibody tests should be used in conjunction with COVID-19 testing, not as a substitute. Antibody tests have more value to local and state governments because they provide them with macro data on how many people have been exposed. They are also valuable to individuals, but for businesses, the most important information is knowing if any of your employees currently have the virus.
Order COVID-19 Testing Kits from TruGenX
TruGenX is providing COVID-19 testing kits to medical facilities nationwide. It is vital that we increase our testing regiment as we enact phase one of back to work policies. If our goal is to avoid a second wave of cases we need to monitor and mitigate risks by testing more people more frequently.