The CDC, along with numerous states, are currently using aggregated viral testing that include assays for current infection along with antibody testing that detects prior infections. This muddies the picture on actual current coronavirus cases and makes it more difficult to determine if we are heading in the right direction.
From The Atlantic: ‘How Could the CDC Make That Mistake?’
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is conflating the results of two different types of coronavirus tests, distorting several important metrics and providing the country with an inaccurate picture of the state of the pandemic. We’ve learned that the CDC is making, at best, a debilitating mistake: combining test results that diagnose current coronavirus infections with test results that measure whether someone has ever had the virus…
The widespread use of the practice means that it remains difficult to know exactly how much the country’s ability to test people who are actively sick with COVID-19 has improved….
Georgia …has also seen its COVID-19 infections plateau amid a surge in testing. Like Texas, it reported more than 20,000 new results on Wednesday, the majority of them negative. But because, according to The Macon Telegraph, it is also blending its viral and antibody results together, its true percent-positive rate is impossible to know…
On a national scale, they call the strength of America’s response to the coronavirus into question…the portion of tests coming back positive has plummeted, from a seven-day average of 10 percent at the month’s start to 6 percent on Wednesday…The intermingling of viral and antibody tests suggests that some of those gains might be illusory.
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