I found a great resource on COVID testing stats today. https://ourworldindata.org/grapher/daily-covid-19-tests-per-thousand-rolling-3-day-average?country=ITA~USA~GBR~KOR
This resource analyses the number of COVID tests performed per 1000 people – enabling a comparison across countries. It shows that the in each of the last 4 days of May the US performed over 400,000 tests. That’s amazing! The US testing is about 1.2 tests per thousand per day. South Korea (a country often associated with high rates of testing) is currently testing 0.2 people per thousand (although the incidence of new COVID cases in that country is very low).
Only Australia, with a population of 25 million people, is testing more people per capita than the US. I’m make the point that testing 25 million people has to be easier than testing over 300 million people. So I think the US deserves a pat on the back for reaching this significant scale quickly.
Now, in the interests of full disclosure – some countries are testing more individuals PER confirmed case than the US. If you like – some countries are doing a wider canvassing of people each time they find a positive case. The US does do that in some populations i.e. testing all of the people in a prison, if there is a confirmed case – or in Meat Processing facilities (see my other blog post on that). So there is some further room for improvement – but that shouldn’t stop us from celebrating what has been achieved.
400,000 tests per day is a great milestone.
New US cases per day re not falling as rapidly as some other countries – but putting this in the context of more testing – simply means the US is catching more cases that would otherwise be undiagnosed. Even with that caveat – the US is showing sustained progress even as States emerge from lockdown.