FDA authorized first over-the-counter COVID-19 test – useful but not a game changer

A new over-the-counter COVID-19 test has been authorized by the FDA. Though it can be used to test people with and without symptoms, moderate cost and limited production mean it isn't a game-changer.

Zoë McLaren, Associate Professor of Public Policy, University of Maryland, Baltimore County • conversation
Dec. 17, 2020 ~5 min

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Rapid COVID-19 tests can be useful – but there are far too few to put a dent in the pandemic

In September, production of rapid tests really ramped up in the US. But due to low accuracy and massive numbers needed, these tests alone are unlikely to have much of an effect on the pandemic.

Katherine Ellingson, Assistant Professor of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, University of Arizona • conversation
Dec. 1, 2020 ~8 min

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No, soaring COVID-19 cases are not due to more testing – they show a surging pandemic

COVID-19 cases are skyrocketing across the US. Testing has ramped up over the past few months, but increasing hospitalizations, deaths and test-positivity rates show that the virus is out of control.

Zoë McLaren, Associate Professor of Public Policy, University of Maryland, Baltimore County • conversation
Nov. 18, 2020 ~6 min

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How to use COVID-19 testing and quarantining to safely travel for the holidays

Over the approachin holidays, people around the world will want to travel to see friends and family. Getting tested for the coronavirus can make this safer, but testing alone is not a perfect answer.

Claudia Finkelstein, Associate Professor of Family Medicine, Michigan State University • conversation
Oct. 23, 2020 ~8 min

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As COVID-19 cases rise again, how will the US respond? Here's what states have learned so far

States have been experimenting with more targeted approaches to slow the coronavirus's spread. Two strategies stand out.

Murray J. Côté, Associate Professor of Health Policy and Management, Texas A&M University • conversation
Oct. 12, 2020 ~8 min

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Will the new 15-minute COVID-19 test solve US testing problems?

The new BinaxNOW antigen test is quick, easy, accurate and cheap. It could solve the US testing problem, but the emergency use authorization only allows people with COVID-19 symptoms to get tested.

Zoë McLaren, Associate Professor of Public Policy, University of Maryland, Baltimore County • conversation
Sept. 1, 2020 ~6 min

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Rapid screening tests that prioritize speed over accuracy could be key to ending the coronavirus pandemic

Testing large numbers of people regularly would reduce the spread of the coronavirus in the US. Laboratory testing is slow and expensive, but rapid screening tests could be the answer.

Zoë McLaren, Associate Professor of Public Policy, University of Maryland, Baltimore County • conversation
Aug. 14, 2020 ~9 min

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Test positivity rate: How this one figure explains that the US isn't doing enough testing yet

Test positivity rates measure the success of a testing program. Even though the US performs a huge number of tests, high test positivity rates across the country show that that it still isn't enough.

Ronald D. Fricker, Jr., Professor of Statistics and Associate Dean for Faculty Affairs and Administration, Virginia Tech • conversation
July 30, 2020 ~7 min

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Random testing in Indiana shows COVID-19 is 6 times deadlier than flu, and 2.8% of the state has been infected

A team of researchers from Indiana University performed random testing for SARS-CoV-2 across the state. The results offer some of the most accurate data to date about important aspects of the virus.

Nir Menachemi, Professor of Health Policy and Management, Indiana University • conversation
July 21, 2020 ~11 min

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Group testing for coronavirus – called pooled testing – could be the fastest and cheapest way to increase screening nationwide

Screening multiple samples with a single test gets more people diagnosed using fewer supplies. Two health policy researchers explain how it works and how it could help the U.S.

Erin Trish, Associate Director, Schaeffer Center for Health Policy and Economics and Assistant Professor of Pharmaceutical and Health Economics, University of Southern California • conversation
July 2, 2020 ~8 min

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