The Importance of Widespread COVID-19 Testing
Nearly every public health expert and organization agrees that—in the absence of a COVID-19 vaccine—widespread testing is key to curtailing the pandemic. It’s crucial on the individual level of isolating people who are infected and their close contacts. But it is equally important on a national/global level; extensive testing allows experts to identify virus hotspots and make decisions that will keep us safe.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), “Where the number of confirmed cases is high relative to the extent of testing, this suggests that there may not be enough tests being carried out to properly monitor the outbreak. In such countries, the true number of infections may be far higher than the number of confirmed cases.”
The “positivity rate” is the amount of positive cases in relation to the number of tests. For instance, some countries have a positivity rate of less than 1%, which means—according to the WHO—"it takes hundreds, or even thousands of tests to find one case in these countries.” In others, positive cases appear every few tests.
This is important information to have, especially as different states and cities in the US follow different protocols. It informs us which regions have outbreaks, so that people who live or visit there can be aware and get tested. Each person who gets tested before they show symptoms can protect those around them—and potentially save lives.
Tests like ours at Avalon Laboratory Solutions, which deliver accurate results within 24-48 hours, are key to catching pre-symptomatic or asymptomatic cases. Everyone’s availability is different, which is why there is no one-size-fits-all method for COVID-19 testing. At Avalon Lab Solutions, we can schedule you immediately to be tested in two different ways: through drive-in testing at our lab, or an at-home test. In both cases, you’ll receive results within 48 hours.
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