Health Care

Analysis: Most states fall short of recommended coronavirus testing levels as some reopen

Most states in the U.S. are still falling short of recommended coronavirus testing levels even as a growing number begin to reopen their economies.

An analysis conducted by The Associated Press found that 41 states did not conduct enough tests to drive infections below a key benchmark recommended by officials. International bodies have said that the number of positive test results out of all tests conducted should not breach 10 percent. 

Among the states that fail to meet the criteria are those that have begun relaxing social distancing measures in recent weeks, including Georgia and Texas, both of which have quickly moved to allow the reopening of several different kinds of businesses, including “close contact” businesses such as hair and nail salons.

The analysis comes as state and local leaders say they lack the necessary number of test kits to get a grasp on their respective outbreaks.

Based on the 10 percent positivity rate and other metrics, researchers at Harvard University have said the U.S. must test a minimum of 900,000 people per day to safely reopen the economy. However, the country is testing about 360,000 people each day.

Many of the nine states that meet the criteria are rural areas with more spread out populations and fewer cases, such as Montana, Alaska, North Dakota and Wyoming.

President Trump has expressed skepticism over the importance of testing, saying widespread testing could be “overrated.”

“We have the best testing in the world,” Trump told employees at Owens & Minor Inc. in Pennsylvania Thursday. “Could be that testing’s, frankly, overrated. Maybe it is overrated.”

Tags Coronavirus Coronavirus testing COVID-19 Donald Trump economy reopening

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