Writing at Slate, Andy Carstens asks why there is a difference in the government’s response to Covid and the response to HIV. On Jan. 18, the government launched a website enabling every U.S. household to order four free at-home kits … And, while the future of government COVID test funding is shaky, right now households can order another set of four free tests.
A strategy for extinguishing the novel coronavirus has been outlined by Cornell University’s Operations Research Professor Peter Frazier and colleagues. They developed a group testing protocol that could release 96 percent of the U.S. population back to society within four weeks, with this percentage rising even higher thereafter. Frazier envisions initially testing 62 households at a time, and assumes, to be conservative, a very high (30 percent false negative) test rate that would require some degree of redundancy to work efficiently. All told, though, the job could be done for the entire United States with only 6 million tests per week. That’s a large number, but just three to four times the test rate we’ve already reached.