The effectiveness of coronavirus testing depends not only on the number of tests performed but also on who is getting tested. Testing may be administered for a variety of reasons: to diagnose COVID-19 in symptomatic patients, to detect asymptomatic infection in persons exposed to infection or at high risk of transmitting infection to others (i.e., essential workers), to detect outbreaks in schools or other venues where in-person gatherings are now being allowed, or for other reasons that may be more or less useful for prevention of coronavirus transmission.
In a study published in JAMA Network Open, persons with new onset of febrile illness are at relatively high risk of being infected with SARS-CoV-2 and infecting others. Fever is a cardinal sign of coronavirus infection and appears relatively early in the course of the disease. It is not clear how effective current testing programs are at providing timely access to coronavirus testing in persons with new onset of febrile illness, and whether disparities in access to testing may be contributing to higher rates of COVID-19 illness and death in Black and Hispanic persons.
The COVID-19 Citizen Science Study, launched in late March 2020, collects survey data daily on symptoms of COVID-19 and weekly on coronavirus testing. This information was used to estimate the time of test results among participants with new-onset febrile illness and analyze time trends. Very interesting information and of course, we love our researchers so click the link below to read the entire article! Stay well, mask up indoors and stay tuned!