The White House coronavirus task force is "seriously considering" pool testing for Covid-19 and acknowledged that the current testing strategy has proven inadequate.
The way "pool testing" works is by mixing together several samples together into a "batch," or pool, and then test the pooled sample with one diagnostic test.
This way you can test a group of, for example, 25 people with one test rather than 25 separate diagnostic tests. If the test comes back negative, then you have eliminated 25 people with one test. If you get a positive result, you go back and test people individually.
Testing has been an issue throughout the handling of the pandemic. The CDC's initial test, given to public health labs, did not work and resulted in a lag in getting tests out to public health departments.
Although President Donald Trump has repeatedly downplayed the need for increased testing -- and suggested last week that he asked for testing to be slowed down -- the nation is experiencing a surge in confirmed cases, demonstrating the nation's inability thus far to get a grip on the spiraling pandemic.
Read the full story here, then scroll to the bottom of this story for interactive graphics that explore the state of virus testing.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation's top infectious disease expert, said Friday that the White House coronavirus task force is "seriously considering" pool testing for Covid-19 and acknowledged to The Washington Post that the Trump administration's current testing strategy has proven inadequate.
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