According to a report in NPR this morning about a new “a simulation that estimates the amount of testing needed in each state by May 15”:
“Harvard’s Global Health Institute estimated minimum targets for how much testing each state needs by May 15 to contain its outbreak through a strategy of testing, tracing and isolating positive cases and their contacts. Death rates are provided as a marker of outbreak size. A positive test ratio of 10% or less is the target advised by the World Health Organization. States with higher ratios may not be testing enough, or testing a diverse enough pool of people.”
So how does Virginia rank on these metrics? See below:
- “Virginia currently averages 3,967 tests per day — far fewer than the estimated minimum needed by May 15.”
- “In the past week, 19.1% of tests have come back positive. This exceeds the recommended rate of 10% or lower.”
- Also note the current gap in Virginia between the tests per 100k population that are *needed* in Virginia (195 per 100k) and the tests per 100k population that are actually being conducted (46 per 100k).
- One piece of (relatively) good news: “In Virginia, the COVID-19 outbreak has been mild relative to the state’s population size,” at 8 deaths per 100k, compared to 132 deaths per 100k in New York, 96 deaths per 100k in New Jersey, 76 deaths per 100k in Connecticut, and 24 deaths per 100k in Maryland, but higher than the 3 deaths per 100k in West Virginia, 3 deaths per 100k in Tennesse, 5 deaths per 100k in North Carolina and 6 deaths per 100k in Kentucky.
Bottom line: Virginia needs to crank up its testing and reduce the percentage of positive gets, among other things, in order to contain COVID-19 and reopen the state safely. Clearly, we’ve got work to do.