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CDC Warns Against Antibody Tests, Testing Costs

By Net Assets posted 05-28-2020 11:51 AM


(From The Hill) New guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) warn that coronavirus antibody tests, also called serologic tests, may be wrong up to half the time. In addition, even if someone has antibodies indicating they have already had the virus, it is still unclear how long immunity from the virus lasts or how durable it is. “Serologic test results should not be used to make decisions about grouping persons residing in or being admitted to congregate settings, such as schools, dormitories, or correctional facilities,” the guidelines state.

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(From The Wall Street Journal) Some leading medical experts say the U.S. must conduct at least six million tests a week — about three times the U.S.'s current amount — to safely lift restrictions and prevent the disease from spreading. On top of that, doctors say the nation needs about 100,000 people to undertake “contact tracing,” or getting in touch with those who have had contact with infected people and may now be infected themselves. Insufficient supply of swabs, testing chemicals and sites to conduct tests and other issues have become limiting factors.

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(From KCRW and NPR) Even if schools and colleges can obtain tests, they cost a lot: anywhere from $50 a test to triple that. At UC San Diego, for instance, where a voluntary student testing program has been conducted using the school's lab and hospital, full scale testing is anticipated to cost the school more than $2 million per month in the fall. The cost of testing is a key factor in reopening campus, which at this point seems impractical given the costs. 

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