Citizen Brief

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Testing for COVID 19 


By September 15th, 2020 effective, reliable testing will be available for all individuals. 



Provide an overview and recommandations for best practice for testing


The Challenge:

Provide an evidence-based strategy for reliable testing associated with COVID 19.

1. Testing for virus

2. Testing for viral load 

3. Testing for antibodies 

Take Action 

Testing in the COVID-19 Era 

Testing for the virus 

 At a population level, detection enables mapmaking: quantifying the size and the sources of an infection and tracking its movements. For an individual patient, it enables plan-making: assessing whether you’ve been infected and should be isolated, and tracing whom you’ve put at risk. In the later stages of a pandemic, the ability to test on a wide scale allows agencies to concentrate on hot spots and contain them with limited, local lockdowns.

Testing for Viral Load 

Testing for Antibody (Immunity) 

Featured Media:  Testing for the virus 

11:51 - Rapid testing 29:15 - PCR vs rapid antigen tests 38:59 - Medical industrial complex 42:51 - Lex takes COVID test 49:35 - FDA and cheap tests 52:21 - Explanation of Elon Musk's positive COVID tests 59:29 - Role of testing during vaccine deployment 1:02:58 - Public health policy 1:12:38 - A weather system for viruses

Testing for the virus 

Aug 13, 2020

In this UCSF Medical Grand Rounds, we discuss three new approaches for addressing Covid-19 that are gaining traction. Michael Mina, of the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, talks about the evidence supporting the move from highly sensitive PCR-based viral tests to more rapid, cheaper, and less sensitive tests. Trevor Bedford, of the University of Washington and the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, describes his theory that, in hard-hit regions, we may be closer to herd immunity than previously thought. Finally, Emily Silverman and Ashley McMullen, both of UCSF, discuss the role of the narrative in deepening our understanding of Covid by giving voice to clinicians and patients. The session is moderated by UCSF Department of Medicine chair Bob Wachter.

General information and guidelines 

Although the World Health Organization had distributed a quarter of a million tests, manufactured by a German lab and widely used elsewhere, the F.D.A. had authorized only the C.D.C. kit. 

National Academy of Medicine: COVID-19 Testing: What It Measures, Who Gets It, & How Much Is Needed

Rapid Expert Consultation on SARS-CoV-2 Laboratory Testing for the COVID-19 Pandemic (April 8, 2020) 

Failing the Test — The Tragic Data Gap Undermining the U.S. Pandemic Response

E.C. Schneider N Engl J Med 2020;383:299-302 | Published Online May 15, 2020

What a Negative COVID-19 Test Really Means, The Atlantic SARAH ZHANG Accessed June 21, 2020 

We know very little about how reliable tests are for people who don’t feel sick.

COVID-19 diagnostics in context

The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has highlighted the need for different types of diagnostics, comparative validation of new tests, faster approval by federal agencies, and rapid production of test kits to meet global demands. In this Perspective, we discuss the utility and challenges of current diagnostics for COVID-19.

General information and guidelines 

The Race for a Vaccine: Balancing the Promise, the Peril, & the Process

Ensuring global access to COVID-19 vaccines

Fareed Zakaria GPS July 12 2020:Where did America’s response to Covid-19 go so wrong? Pre-eminent physician Ezekiel Emanuel diagnoses the problem…then Harvard scholar Danielle Allen offers some solutions.


On GPS: How contact tracing could work in America

Fareed Zakaria, GPS

Harvard's Danielle Allen: Interstate Compacts are key "to activate all the categories of capacity we have" in order to implement contact tracing in the US.

Source: CNN

Contact Tracing 

contact tracing .png

General information and guidelines 

The Race for a Vaccine: Balancing the Promise, the Peril, & the Process

Ensuring global access to COVID-19 vaccines


What you need to know about the COVID-19 vaccine

Humankind has never had a more urgent task than creating broad immunity for coronavirus.  By Bill Gates.  April 30, 2020



Guidelines and Recommandations 

FDA Pushed Through Scores of Inaccurate Antibody Tests Without Agency Review (Politico) The Food and Drug Administration is dealing with a flood of inaccurate coronavirus antibody tests after it allowed more than 120 manufacturers and labs to bring the tests to market without an agency review.


General Media: 

We could control the coronavirus by winter if we start using rapid tests: 

They’re not as accurate as lab tests, but testing more people, faster, is critical  Washington Post 

Ranu S. Dhillon,  Abraar Karan and  Devabhaktuni Srikrishna August 17, 2020