Testing Is Key To Keeping COVID-19 Outbreaks At Bay – But Resources Aren’t Always Where They Are Needed
News outlets also report on how people are following the coronavirus epidemic through online tools such as the one offered by Johns Hopkins, and on Britain's missteps in testing and tracing the virus.
Is Your State Doing Enough Coronavirus Testing To Suppress Its Outbreak?
The coronavirus keeps spreading around the United States. New hot spots are emerging and heating up by the day. The death toll keeps mounting. So how can the U.S. beat back the relentless onslaught of this deadly virus? Public health experts agree one powerful weapon is something that's gotten a lot of attention, but apparently still needs a lot more: Testing. (Stein, 6/30)
The New York Times:
Does Your Local Doctor Have A Coronavirus Test For You?
Back in March, after President Trump declared the coronavirus a national emergency, doctors felt ill-equipped to diagnose their patients or counsel them on treatment and prevention. Three months later, testing numbers are up. But primary care physicians — the doctors that many turn to first when their health declines — are not always equipped to check their patients for the pathogen. And community testing sites have not been evenly distributed, snubbing some populations most vulnerable to the ill effects of the virus. Many Americans hoping to get tested are not even sure where to start looking. (Wu, 6/29)
The New York Times:
Two Friends In Texas Were Tested For Coronavirus. One Bill Was $199. The Other? $6,408.
Before a camping and kayaking trip along the Texas Coast, Pam LeBlanc and Jimmy Harvey decided to get coronavirus tests. They wanted a bit more peace of mind before spending 13 days in close quarters along with three friends. The two got drive-through tests at Austin Emergency Center in Austin. (Kliff, 6/29)
In related news —
The Washington Post:
Millions Track The Pandemic On Johns Hopkins’s Dashboard. Those Who Built It Say Some Miss The Real Story
But even as data has jumped to the forefront of international discussions about the virus, the Johns Hopkins team wrestles with doubts about whether the numbers can truly capture the scope of the pandemic, and whether the public and policymakers are failing to absorb the big picture. They know what they are producing is not a high-resolution snapshot of the pandemic but a constantly shifting Etch a Sketch of the trail of covid-19, the disease caused by the virus. (Swenson, 6/29)
The Game Changer That Wasn't
As Britain’s COVID-19 infections soared in the spring, the government reached for what it hoped could be a game changer – a smartphone app that could automate some of the work of human contact tracers. The origin of the NHS COVID-19 App goes back to a meeting on March 7 when three Oxford scientists met experts at NHSX, the technical arm of the UK’s health service. The scientists presented an analysis that concluded manual contact tracing alone couldn’t control the epidemic. (Stecklow, 6/29)