Why It Pays to Think Outside the Box on Coronavirus Tests

“The surprising thing is just how robust that finding is in the face of some pretty plausible variations,” mentioned A. David Paltiel, a professor of well being coverage and administration at Yale School of Public Health, who was not concerned in the examine.

Still, he famous, there have been loads of situations that the mannequin didn’t check, and the paper nonetheless wants to bear an intensive peer evaluation.

Its predictions must also be examined in the actual world, Dr. O’Connor mentioned: “It needs to be explored and tested head-to-head with other allocation methods.”

But if the findings maintain up, it could counsel that faculties and different establishments which can be attempting to reopen safely ought to assume past their very own partitions once they develop testing applications. “Even if your goal is only to protect the students in your care, you will still be doing the maximum to protect those students by taking care of the people in the surrounding community,” Dr. Paltiel mentioned. “That’s a pretty strong argument.”

Some universities are starting to undertake this outlook. C.M.U. now provides free exams to all of its college students’ self-reported contacts, whether or not or not they’re affiliated with the college, and runs a testing web site that’s open to native residents, mentioned Amy Bronson, a co-chair of the college’s Covid-19 activity power and an creator of the paper.

And in November, the University of California, Davis, began offering free coronavirus exams to anybody who lives or works in the metropolis. The Healthy Davis Together program, a partnership with the metropolis, has since administered greater than 450,000 exams and recognized greater than 1,000 folks with the virus, mentioned Brad Pollock, an epidemiologist at U.C. Davis who directs the challenge.

“A virus does not respect geographic boundaries,” Dr. Pollock mentioned. “It is ludicrous to think that you can get control of an acute infectious respiratory disease like Covid-19, in a city like Davis that hosts a very large university, without coordinated public health measures that connect both the university and the community.”

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