Due to the high number of inquiries received and the continuous developments regarding the virus, TAG is offering COVID-19 Retainer Packages to businesses concerned with the impact of this outbreak.
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Updated: August 7, 2020
The global case count of COVID-19 cases has exceeded 19 million.
Avoid consuming chlorine products or chlorine dioxide products as a treatment for COVID-19.
In today’s Recommendations for Industry, we discuss the limitations, risks, and considerations of rapid COVID-19 testing.
Recommendations for Industry
Rapid COVID-19 testing has become more widely available, but because of the low accuracy of these tests and the serious implications of false positives and negatives, TAG recommends that businesses take a very cautious approach to the use of rapid testing.
As TAG has started in the past, two key considerations for any testing are:
Know what you will do with the results. Who and how often will you test? If a worker tests positive, what will you require of them? How will you trace close contacts and what will you require of them?
Know the sensitivity and specificity of the test(s) you plan to use. What is the rate of accuracy; of true/false positives and negatives? What threshold do you see as acceptable? Will you retest; if so, which test do you believe?
These factors are particularly important if considering rapid tests, which have consistently lower accuracy rates than do the slower-response PCR tests. This is because both positive and negative tests results can have economic, personal, and health impacts, so a false result can be significant:
When a result is positive, the person will likely need to contact their workplace and quarantine themselves from work (potentially unpaid), friends and family, and inform all close contacts who will need to be tested and/or do the same. Thus, a false positive could cause undue loss of income, isolation, and worry for many.
When a result is negative, the person will consider themselves safe to go to work, interact with others, visit grandma, etc. So a false negative can put a lot of people at risk.
While TAG loves the idea of rapid testing, until more accurate tests are available, we do not see these as being of value. COVID-19 is just too serious to mess with.
As of August 7, 2020 (08:21 AM ET), there are over 19,111,123 cases (>715,555 deaths) worldwide.
Due to the increasing number of cases in the United States, TAG will move from reporting counts per country to focus on the United States, please see here for the data. For further information regarding worldwide numbers, please refer to John Hopkin University’s aggregate map.
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