Stop Community Spread of COVID-19 with Frequent Testing

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, it has become all too clear that there are many asymptomatic carriers of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19.

Many pre-symptomatic people who have the virus won’t develop symptoms for several days after they are contagious. Additionally, some minimally symptomatic people may think they have allergies because of a runny nose, or just had a hard work-out that caused fatigue and body aches. Overall, we are clearly missing many of the people that are spreading the virus, even with testing.

Unfortunately, the only way to know if you are carrying the virus is with frequent testing. Symptom tracking and temperature checks are useful tools, but they let many infected individuals fall through the cracks.

Imagine if smoke detectors only worked when fires were really large. With this virus, we need solutions that improve public health.

In May 2020, the World Health Organization recommended that the test positivity rate should be less than 5% for 14 days for safe reopening. This means that out of all the tests that are done in a community, less than 5% of tests come back positive and more than 95% come back negative. A high test positivity rate means that many more people are likely infected than just those tested, and active community spread risk is very high.

Everyone has a different risk level based on their daily life. Working around many people without the option of social distancing, public transportation, communal living and other factors can increase risk of exposure to the novel coronavirus. Living in a community with a high prevalence of COVID-19 is also a major risk factor. Based on individual risk, everyone needs a different screening routine. Some people who experience very high exposure should be tested once or twice a week, while others may need to test every 1-2 weeks.

You don’t have to wear a seatbelt every day – just days when you get in a car accident.

This adage also applies to COVID-19 testing. You never know when you are going to get exposed and infected, or if you will be asymptomatic, pre-symptomatic or symptomatic.

Frequent testing helps you do your part to help protect your community and end the pandemic. The more “Super Testers”, or those who test frequently, the lower the positivity rate and the faster a community can get the virus under control. Identifying and isolating a single asymptomatic individual can prevent an outbreak. Join us and become a “Super Tester”.

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