- Identify people requiring isolation, monitoring or treatment
- Understand disease spread
- Trace contacts to limit transmission
- Make decisions about isolation, quarantine and, eventually, easing of restrictions
But it’s not just any testing. We need validated, accurate testing to ensure we identify infected and non-infected individuals correctly. If we don’t know who is infected, we run the risk of those individuals infecting others in the community. If we don’t know how many people aren’t infected, we run the risk of exaggerating our response.
Dr. Berrey: It depends on which assays are being used. Most of the sites reporting that data are also reporting which assay is being used, and you can see if it is one with higher sensitivity and specificity ratings. In general, these are being used by health departments but I have seen health departments reporting using serologic assays with a false negative rate of almost 50 percent. So, you really need to know which one it is.