CDC broadens coronavirus testing guidelines

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2020/03/04/cdc-broadens-coronavirus-testi.html

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Broadening is a good thing, but…

Once you’re symptomatic, isn’t that like checking to see if the barn door is open after you see your cows grazing in your front yard?

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Coughing into an envelope and sending it in isn’t an option?

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If someone knows they have the virus, they and others can take precautions to prevent them spreading it further. There is no treatment, so knowing they have it won’t help the patient tested, but if they can avoid spreading it further it will likely save a few lives.

Currently the CDC can only test ~15,000 kits a day, though. Relaxing the test criteria should help containment, but there is still plenty of work before there can be wide-spread testing in the U.S.

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But you save the $3000.00 for the blood test, so it’s a bargain.

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Those Forever stamps stuck together inside my wallet are finally going to pay off!

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Who’s paying for the test? Because if people have to pay for it, many won’t get tested. There’s no benefit at all for the person tested.

Other than potentially avoiding further contamination?

That’s a great reason to be tested, especially if you love the people around you.

But I feel certain that if the person being tested has to foot the bill in the US, a great number of people can’t/won’t. They’ll be like, “Well, fuck. Fingers crossed it’s just a cold/flu.”

Some may try to self-quarantine, but many will keep going to their jobs, because they need to earn the money to keep possession of their living space, pay their bills, and buy food.

And shit like this is how it will spread. I theorize that countries with socialized medicine and sensible sick day policies will fare far better than those of us in the good ol’ USA where missing a day of work because you are sick is in some cases a fireable offense, and no you don’t get health insurance because they keep your hours to under 30 a week so you can be counted as a part-time employee (assuming you’re regarded as an employee at all, and not a subcontractor).

If there’s no treatment, and a person isn’t well connected in the current system, many won’t want to risk what little money they have.

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In other words, avoid identifying the first local case before it’s had a chance to spread.

More PR at the expense of effective infection control. Compare to what Mexico is doing to get an idea of how backwards we have become.

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As far as I can tell, in VA we still have no ability to get testing done. Of course, there are no confirmed cases here, but is that not a catch-22?

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And for some hourly employees, taking time off work just to get tested is going to be financially damaging.

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And testing positive, leading to 14 day quarantine, loss of income, potentially loss of employment? Severe consequences for what is, for most, a service to the community. Our system is FUBAR’d. Or performing according to specs, depending on your POV.

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