COVID source callout: Utah

Utah was one of the first states to begin reporting antigen tests back in early August. The state is also one of only three to report an antigen testing time series, rather than simply the total number of tests conducted. However, the format in which Utah presents these data is… challenging. Rather than reporting daily antigen test counts—or […]

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County-level testing data from an unexpected source

On September 3, 2020, the Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) posted a county-level testing dataset. The dataset specifically provides test positivity rates for every U.S. county, for the week of August 27 to September 2. This is huge. It’s, like, I had to lie down after I saw it, huge. No federal health agency has posted county-level testing data since the pandemic started.

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Florida is no longer sending tests to Quest Diagnostics

This past Tuesday, the Florida Department of Health (DOH) announced that the department would stop working with Quest Diagnostics. Quest is one of the biggest COVID-19 test providers in the nation, with test centers and labs set up in many states. The company claimed in a statement to the Tampa Bay Times that it has “provided more COVID-19 testing on behalf of the citizens of Florida than any other laboratory.”

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Three different units for COVID-19 tests

How many people in the U.S. have been tested for COVID-19? This should be a simple question, but instead, we have 50 state public health departments wh report their local testing results in 50 different ways. Different departments have different practices for collecting and cleaning their test results, and beyond that, they report these results using different units, or the definitive magnitudes used to describe values.

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What’s up with testing in Texas?

The COVID Tracking Project published a blog post this week in which three of our resident Texas experts, Conor Kelly, Judith Oppenheim, and Pat Kelly, describe a dramatic shift in Texas testing numbers which has taken place in the past two weeks. On August 2, the number of tests reported by Texas’s Department of State Health Services (DSHS) began to plummet. The state went from a reported 60,000 tests per day at the end of July to about half that number by August 12.

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Antigen tests: fast, cheap, and almost diagnostic

In May, however, a new type of testing came on the scene. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) authorized its first antigen test on May 9, and its second antigen test on July 6. By the end of July, both types of antigen tests had been distributed to hundreds of nursing homes across the country.

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