Frequent, and repeated testing of the currently non-symptomatic is how the NFL is playing.
Frequent, and repeated testing of the currently non-symptomatic is how Duke University is open to some on-campus, in-person instruction.
Frequent, and repeated testing of the currently non-symptomatic is the way out once we get the supply chain resolved.
I was part of a team that made this argument in a recent Rockefeller Foundation funded work: We built off the work by the Larremore Lab on the trade-offs between test sensitivity, turn around time and cadence.
There are a wide array of options to get significant reduction in (R), the reproductive rate.
Right now, the US R rate is about 1.0 nationally with regional Rs not above 1.5. Any R above 1 implies that the disease is spreading. Any R below 1 implies that the number of new cases is shrinking. The closer the the sub-1.0 R is to zero, the faster the disease spread shrinks.
The good news is that a 60% reduction in R anywhere in the country brings local R under 1.0.
In some areas, six weeks of a 60% reduction in R from the current level effectively stomps the virus out of local community spread. In other parts of the country, a 60% reduction means a long, slow slog of a decline.
We don’t, in general, need to get 90%+ R reductions for the general population. We just need 30%-40%-50%-60% reductions and then hold those for a few months. We can do that.
The big constraint right now is logistics. We estimated that a risk based testing strategy for just public schools and nursing homes+ residential care facilities based on late August prevalence would need 190 million tests per month. We don’t have that. We won’t have that number for a while. However, increasing the testing supply to start crushing local spread to reduce prevalence and thus testing needs is a potential strategy.
We have ways out. A fully integrated approach of testing, broad community surveillance through COVID-like Illness syndromic surveillance and sewage monitoring, mask wearing when out and about, and interaction management so that as many of a limited number of interactions occur in well-ventilated areas is a way out.