COVID-19 testing of all persons will implement the ability to make predictions on the function and outcome of the level of the mitigations in place and other necessary measures needed to contain this coronavirus. Facts must be collected on the relevant variables of amassed data coming from testing results in order to do the work needed to stop the pandemic spread and find a cure.
Intense COVID-19 Testing Needed to Stop Exponential Growth
Without appropriate testing, general statements cannot be made on the exponential growth of the pandemic, nor can there be necessary implementations put in place to reduce the spread of the disease. Only by performing mass COVID-19 testing will allow for experts to access what percentage of the population has been infected to take appropriate measures to isolate them from the healthy community.
One conclusion that can be drawn from the pandemic is that the total number of infected individuals due to COVID-19 is much higher than the number of known confirmed cases. This is because proper COVID-19 testing has not been taking place and also dependent upon the existing number of asymptomatic and presymptomatic cases.
When Rigorous countermeasures have not been implemented the expectancy of the mortality rate could be very high – or grow exponentially over time. The exponential growth is a result of the lack of necessary and sufficient mitigation in place.
The reproduction number (RO) is used by scientists to realize how intense of an outbreak there will be from an infectious disease. This allows for an understanding of the ideal, or theoretical, effect of the pandemic when one infected individual enters a fully susceptible community (RO>1). Experts also use the RO to understand the effective rate of the multiplication pertaining to the probability of the pandemic over time – along with contributing demographics.
COVID-19 Testing to Isolate Cases and Stop Spread
COVID-19 testing also allows for experts to track serial interval, the time it takes between one person having symptoms to when the second person will become infected and show symptoms. This is a dependent variable of importance and a highly significant indicator in efforts to identify and isolate infected cases. Four days is the serial interval of COVID-19, SARS-CoV-19, as concluded by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Shorter serial interval numbers equate to it being more difficult to control an epidemic. Aggressive testing allows for understanding this indicator to facilitate more time to isolate cases. Models of predictions can be made to detail consequences of the exponential rate of the virus resulting in the number of infected people in the future and mortality rate of the pandemic. Conducting intense COVID-19 testing will facilitate a way to help predict containment.
As reported by Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) – Statistics and Research:
“Under exponential growth, 500 deaths grow to more than 1 million deaths after 11 doubling times. And after 10 more doubling times, it would be 1 billion deaths.”
When doubling remains constant during an outbreak it means that the illness is spreading exponentially. The COVID-19 testing, along with necessary precautions of isolating and distancing, can help curb rapid growth of very quick high numbers of this virus.
COVID-19 Testing and Directives to Stop Unacceptable Deaths
It is imperative that all follow directives of social distancing, social isolations, quarantines, and stay at home as reasonable necessities in intensifying the mitigation of the pandemic. The prediction of a mortality rate of over 100,000 to as much as 240,000 in the U.S. alone is unacceptable. This reflects the insufficiency of the frequency, intensity, and control, such as COVID-19 testing, in place – as well as other vital measures that need to be implemented such as strict travel restrictions.
The unsystematic variance, unintended effects of the model, must be quantified and decreased while increasing the systematic variance – the intended effect. This corresponds with the rate, intensity and control of implemented measures, mitigations and other unimplemented measures like strict travel restrictions and quarantines.
The rate of the reproduction of COVID-19 over time will lessen when taking these precautions in infected environments, inside and across different environments. Geographical cross-contamination will also be contained. COVID-19 testing will show that when these measures are put into action the rate of the reproduction of COVID-19 over time will be minimized to reach the intended effect of R0<1 – thus containing the spread of the infectious disease.
Achieving Goal of Ending COVID-19 Pandemic
Achieving the intended goal of ending the COVID-19 pandemic means increasing the rigorous measures in place as well as introducing new independent variables. The necessary actions, along with COVID-19 testing, will enable systematic goals, intended effects, or the total sum of all necessary and adequate mitigations to be achieved.
By systematic COVID-19 testing of the population, knowledge will be increased to make visible the rate and intensity of the infectious disease. Experts will be able to gain information on how COVID-19 spreads over demographics and time, and the degree required to increase level of contingencies and implementation of rigorous measures. Through these efforts, the future outcome of the pandemic can be minimized as best as possible to lower the number of infected people and rate of mortality.
Rate of mortality predictions will be a result of the body of existing knowledge on the pandemic based on the necessary implemented measures. Mode of action would increase the probability of intended goals, containment of COVID-19, and decreasing the rate of reproduction to R0<1. Proper action will also work to increase serial interval time to win time and invent new vaccines and medicines.
COVID-19 Testing to Win End of Pandemic
At the same time, the toll of an exponential rate of the pandemic on vital societal infrastructures will be reduced. COVID-19 testing and other pertinent measures will provide probable outcomes of the pandemic being sufficiently addressed to prevent paralyzation of essential and important instruments like the healthcare system.
In the U.S., it is imperative to base the decision-making process on the federal level based on the changing scientific facts and through consistent communication between federal and state authorities. Continuous efforts in increasing the effects of necessary mitigations over time would enable experts to create future models that would minimize the harmful effects of virus outbreaks on society.
Correlation of variables with the implemented mitigations will work to reduce and contain the rate of the reproduction of COVID-19 over time. The plan of combating the COVID-19 pandemic must be based on the rigor of scientific understanding built on the behavioral pattern of the illness through COVID-19 testing.
Thank you to Omid Shahnaz for providing his research, text, and insight to make this article possible