Your Coronavirus Test Is Positive. Maybe It Shouldn’t Be


This article has the wrong headline. From what I understand reading it,

  1. 85-90% of positive tests may be for non contagious people.
  2. Testing data returns results that indicate who is contagious and who is a super spreader.

If we have the data to know who will be a super spreader why aren’t we using it???

I really hope this article gets noticed in spite of the headline. Kudos to NYT for actually publishing it.

(GINA ) #2


I think the key to fighting covid will be to figure out how it can be deadly to some people, while thousands of others are walking around with it and have no symptoms (according to current testing anyway).

We can’t keep treating every positive test like that person is going to infect 100 others and they will all end up in intensive care. They don’t, but it is costing us a fortune because we are scared of it. My employer (a taxpayer funded school district) has started a new leave category for the people that aren’t sick, haven’t been around anyone who is sick, but have been exposed to someone with a positive test. According the the health dept they are supposed to get tested and stay home for 10 days. 10 days with pay at home doing nothing. Some could work at home, but most won’t because others in their union can’t (like custodians or groundskeepers) so it wouldn’t be ‘fair’ for them to.

This is on top of continuing to pay people while kids aren’t even in school, because we are afraid to open in case there is an ‘outbreak.’ We’ve seen the headlines about “1200 positive tests!” and the resulting handwringing. Our superintendent likes her job and our school board is elected. They aren’t going to take that chance, even though it is extremely rare that anyone in a school has actually been seriously ill or died.

In the meantime kids are getting a small percentage of what the taxpayers are paying us for.


(GINA ) #4

Here is another interesting breaking story: CDC reports only 6% died of Covid alone

Some of the additional causes make sense, but more than 5000 people listed in the count as having died from Covid, also had ‘Intentional or unintentional injuries, poisoning’ listed on their death certificate. Sounds like those car crash covid deaths that people like to say are conspiracy theories.


I liked this one

(Jack Bennett) #6

Spot on :+1:


(Jack Bennett) #8

It looks like the main advantage of testing is catching pre-symptomatic people before they spread the virus.

Testing after the fact to confirm that a person’s sickness was in fact COVID is interesting for the individual, but not necessarily useful for public health unless officials do contact tracing retrospectively.

I’m also curious about the nuance in tests that gives an estimate of viral load (and thus of potential severity and/of contagiousness).


The benefit of testing is isolating and tracking contacts so they can isolate to prevent spread. Unfortunately, for many people who are not metabolically healthy, it is a very dangerous disease.
You probably would not choose to kill someone but that is what can happen if you are asymptomatic or presymptomatic or infected. All of these various states shed the same ammount of virus thus infecting people, but asymptomatics apparently longer shedding time thus more infecting from them.

Obviously in the US this tracking is not possible any longer at least not effectively cause of the huge numbers infected…because tracking and isolating did not happen early. Other countries it does and did, so fewer people are dying needlessly. In Australia if you are tested even if negative a tracker gets back to you in 2 days here…at least they did for me in Sydney. That has greatly reduced the possible spread for most of the country, for which I am grateful.

We have a problem in one state cause of people not taking care. All it takes is 1 person shedding to infect thousands, not just 100 as mentioned above. Here it was 1 quarantined person leaving quarantine to go to MacDonalds in Melbourne. Now the city is in lockdown trying to reign it back in.

closed #10