When the public health emergency ends this spring, COVID-19 testing is going to move further in two separate directions: rapid, at-home tests at the individual level, and wastewater testing at the community level. That was my main takeaway from an online event last Tuesday, hosted by Arizona State University and the State and Territory Alliance for Testing.
This week, the National Institutes of Health launched a new website that allows people to anonymously report their at-home test results. While I’m skeptical about how much useful data will actually result from the site, it could be a helpful tool to gauge how willing Americans are to self-report test results.
On September 2, 2022, the federal government stopped taking orders for free at-home COVID-19 tests. The day this program ended, I sent a public records request to the federal government asking for data on how many tests were distributed. I just received some data back from my request; here’s what the numbers show.
New York City has been closing PCR testing sites, even as the city faced a major Omicron resurgence this spring. The trends I found in a local story—and the pushback that the piece received from city health officials—are pretty indicative of the national state of COVID-19 testing right now.
Remember how, in December, the CDC changed its recommendations for people who’d tested positive for COVID-19 to isolating for only five days instead of ten? And a bunch of experts were like, “Wait a second, I’m not sure if that’s sound science?” Well, studies since this guidance was changed have shown that, actually, a lot of people with COVID-19 are still contagious after five days. Yet the CDC has not revised its guidance at all.
My latest story with the Documenting COVID-19 project is an investigation into Utah’s school COVID-19 testing program, in collaboration with the Salt Lake Tribune. We investigated with a once-innovative program failed in fall 2021.