CIDRAP: “Smart Testing” Needed to Combat COVID-19

Cartoon image of a doctor in a lab coat and protective face gear and face mask leaning forward to swab a man in a red shirtThe Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy (CIDRAP) at the University of Minnesota has released their third Viewpoint Report, Smart Testing for COVID-19 Virus and Antibodies, covering the framework for testing target populations for Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19).

CIDRAP acknowledges the complexities and opportunities for error in the rushed development of COVID-19 tests, and emphasizes the importance of creating, distributing, and reading tests in a “smart” way. The points of “Smart Testing” include national coordination, expert oversight, implementing infrastructure that supports test supply chains, and expanding testing to all citizens exhibiting symptoms in a timely manner.

One specific recommendation is that the “US Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) appoint by July 1, 2020, a blue-ribbon panel of national experts” that consists of professionals in every aspect of the testing process, including: public health, laboratory, research and development, marketing, ethics, legal, and local government officials. CIDRAP believes getting the right tests to the right people, and providing timely results, is how to best abate this pandemic.

This is the third part in the Viewpoint series that includes “Part 1: The Future of the COVID-19 Pandemic: Lessons Learned from Pandemic Influenza,” which discusses crisis communication, and “Part 2: Effective COVID-19 Crisis Communication,” which covers potential pandemic scenarios.


For more information on topics related to this piece, check out the COVID-19 Special Collection, or visit the HSDL Featured Topics on Pandemics and Epidemics. Please note: HSDL login is required to view some of these resources.

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