A new state-by-state analysis from the Harvard Global Health Institute (HGHI) and STAT found that more than half of U.S. states would need far more testing if they are considering lifting coronavirus restrictions after May 1.
The analysis is aimed at providing a guide for individual states as to how much they need to ramp up testing. “You can’t just take the national number and scale it to states by their population,” said Ashish Jha, K.T. Li Professor of Global Health and director of the Harvard Global Health Institute (HGHI). “You have to base it on the size of the outbreak in the state.”
The analysis was based on each state’s daily testing totals during an average week in mid-April, using data from the COVID Tracking Project. The researchers found that 31 states and the District of Columbia weren’t doing enough testing. New York, for instance, would have to perform more than 100,000 more tests every day and New Jersey would have to perform 68,000 more. Massachusetts and Illinois would both need to conduct about 23,000 more tests each day.
Across the U.S., about 1.6 million tests were conducted last week, according to the COVID Tracking Project. But the HGHI team said a minimum of twice that many tests are needed.