COVID-19 Cases Still Growing, Links to Academic Papers
On October 24th, the United States tracked 78,702 new infections of Covid-19, a +32% 14-day change. The same day, 871 new COVID-related deaths were counted, this represents a +15% 14-day change. According to the New York Times, twenty-six states are at or near record number for new COVID-19 infections and more than 500,000 infections have been reported in the past week.
“In only 3 days, the 14-day average change in COVID deaths has skyrocketed from 7% to 15%! This means deaths are not simply increasing but accelerating upwards at a fast pace,” said Michael Mina, professor of epidemiology at Harvard University.
“For the 14 day average change to more than double in only three days means that the actual current change is much more than 15% (to pull a 14-day change that far up in only three days means the past three days have seen remarkably large increases). This is not some fear tactic. This is people’s lives. This is the proper functioning of our healthcare system. We are only at the beginning of this ‘spike’ and it could continue accelerating up for months!”
Now, more than ever, simple, fast, accurate, and affordable tests are needed that can be used frequently. These kinds of tests can be made widely available for everyone, especially those at high-risk of exposure. Experts continue to argue that inexpensive contagiousness tests are the best way to drive down infections. Rapid tests, like ASSURE-19, are effective when it matters most: when an infected person is about to reach contagious levels of the virus. And it is affordable enough to be used frequently so that we may capture people crossing the threshold into infectiousness.
Here are some links to academic papers that look in to the efficacy of rapid, frequent testing:
Mina et al. (2020). New England Journal of Medicine
Paltiel, et al. (2020). Research from Yale and Harvard.
Larremore et al (2020). Research from University of Colorado and Harvard.
Grant et al. (2020). Description of an open source lateral flow assay.
Atkeson et al. (2020). Economic Benefits of COVID-19 Screening Tests