A woman gives blood for a test for antibody against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) during the Rhineland research at the German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases (DZNE) in Bonn, Germany May 18, 2020. Martin Meissner/Pool via REUTERS

THE NEUTRAL ZONE

A follow-up on guidelines from a Harvard Global Health Institute analysis shows that most states are not implementing the recommended number of tests to control an outbreak as they reopen. The analysis, based on the number of outbreaks at the beginning of May, recommended about 900,000 tests per day nationwide to avoid a new spate of outbreaks.

A survey of state health departments conducted by the Washington Post identified at least 12 states where governments have enough testing capacity, but few requests for tests. Experts say a number of factors could be contributing to the low number of people seeking tests, including a skewed perception of scarcity and cost, distrust in the testing programs, and confusion over who qualifies. 

As Texas businesses began to reopen on Saturday, the state’s Department of Health reported its largest single-day increase in new COVID-19 cases. Even so, U.S. Health Secretary Alex Azar said his department is not seeing spikes where places have begun to reopen, although he added that it will take time to identify and report new cases.

MEDIA CONTRIBUTION

Why Researchers Hope to Test High-Risk Groups – The New York Times – 5/18/2020 The first known Covid-19 death in the United States happened on Feb. 6 in Santa Clara County. Three months later, government testing in the state remains spotty, in part because of its decentralized and tangled network of test providers spread across a population of 40 million. While California now conducts more than 30,000 tests per day — compared with a few hundred a little more than a month ago — only 26 of every 1,000 Californians have been tested, ranking the state 26th in the nation.

‘It’s just cuckoo’: state’s latest data mishap causes critics to cry foul – The Atlanta Journal-Constitution – 5/18/2020 In the latest bungling of tracking data for the novel coronavirus, a recently posted bar chart on the Georgia Department of Public Health’s website appeared to show good news: new confirmed cases in the counties with the most infections had dropped every single day for the past two weeks. In fact, there was no clear downward trend.

New cases? Deaths? U.S. states’ reopening plans are all over the map – Reuters – 5/18/2020 Neighboring Maryland, home to tens of thousands who commute to D.C. for work, is looking at a different set of data to determine whether it is ready to open up. It includes a plateau in the rate of hospitalizations and the number of cases in hospitals’ intensive-care units.

State and Federal Data on COVID-19 Testing Don’t Match Up – The Atlantic – 5/17/2020 Given the complexity and the multisource nature of the data, some variations should certainly be anticipated. But the inconsistencies we found suggest that Florida is not an outlier. Using the state numbers that match the CDC’s output most closely, in 22 states, the CDC’s reported number of tests diverges from the number reported by the state government by more than 10 percent.

INFLUENCER CONTRIBUTION

eAnna Lorraine 🇺🇸 on Twitter, 5/18/2020:  So healthy citizens aren’t allowed to work for fear of spreading COVID. But, Contact Tracers will come into contact with as many pple as possible. They demand we get tested in order to reopen America- BUT the tests have been proven faulty, even contaminated w CoVid ZERO LOGIC

Dont worry about that sweetheart on Twitter, 5/18/2020: I’m starting to question if they’re doing enough tests in KZN , these numbers are barely moving yet there’s a questionable number of deaths.… 

CBS4 Miami on Twitter, 5/18/2020: Florida’s surgeon general wants to see more pediatric testing for the coronavirus. 

Jordan Schachtel on Twitter, 5/18/2020: Tests “spiked” bc they continue to set records in how many ppl are tested. & problem is not overall cases, it’s hospital capacity, which isn’t remotely threatened. This isn’t about containment, but by all indications, our overall epidemic is fading fast. 

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