Good morning.

Our testing czar says our testing levels are "sufficient".

That declining testing is not a problem -- because cases are declining.

Seems reasonable, right?

Actually, no.

The data tells us a different, nuanced story.

Let's start this story 2 weeks ago

There were 13 states in the "red zone" (>25 cases/100K/day).

They were states like AZ, SC, FL, etc.

In those states, testing has fallen 23%!

And % of test positives collectively flat at 13%

Meaning that they continue to miss many cases
But what if we examine the 13 states with lowest case incidence?

Like NY, MI, etc.

They have few cases. You'd expect them to do few tests, right?

Actually, they're testing twice as many people (per capita) as hot zones

And in past 2 weeks, their testing has gone UP 4%

And in these low incidence states, percent of tests coming back positive is down to 2.0%

So what's going on? How do we interpret all this?

There are 5 key points:

1. More testing does not mean more cases

2. Hot zones in a "diagnostic" mode, testing only sick people.

3. They still have very high % positive. That means that they are still missing a vast majority of their cases

4. Cool zones have switched to active search mode. Their % positive is low, falling. Missing very few infections.

5. We want to switch the nation to switch to active search mode.

Why? because diagnostic mode won't control the virus. Too much asymptomatic spread

Bottom line

Our testing czar is a good person but he's missing the point of testing

We don't just want to diagnose the sickest

We want catch asymptomatic and presymptomatic.

Because they spread.

And identifying them lets you control the virus.

And get our lives back.

You can follow @ashishkjha.
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