Summary of “The U.S. Still Has No Plan to Ramp Up COVID-19 Testing”

“We went up to about 150,000 tests a day, and then we plateaued there for a few weeks,” Jha, the Harvard professor, said.
“Some places had reagents, but not enough swabs. Some places had swabs but not the medium you transport them in. And some places had enough capacity, but they hadn’t changed their policies from when only the sickest people could get tested,” Jha said.
In the District of Columbia, where the number of new cases is increasing, Mayor Muriel Bowser said at a press conference today that the city only had enough reagents to test about 1,500 people per day.
How many tests might eventually be enough isn’t clear, in part because the number depends on the size of the underlying outbreak.
Rivers told Congress this week that scaling up to 3 to 4 million tests a week-equal to about 500,000 a day-would allow more serious contact tracing to begin.
It’s unlikely the U.S. can test that many people every day if it continues to use only the polymerase chain reaction, or PCR, nasal-swab tests currently in use, Jha said.
Antigen tests, which are similar to the rapid flu tests used in doctors’ offices, might be some of the first to become available.
This lack of any plan does not only seem to mar the federal testing effort.

The orginal article.