Alliance for Pandemic Preparedness

May 4, 2020

Population-Scale Testing Can Suppress the Spread of COVID-19



  • Authors in Sweden demonstrate that identification and isolation of the majority of infectious individuals (including those who are asymptomatic) by testing the entire population, repeatedly (i.e., through home test kits submitted by mail), would yield R0<1. False positives can be tolerated as this would simply result in unnecessary quarantine, and the authors model the impact of false negatives using both a standard epidemiological model (SIR) and a stochastic model built on a social network graph. This strategy is effective at any prevalence level, and the authors suggest this approach is cost-effective but do not appear to have done a formal cost-effectiveness analysis.  

Taipale et al. (May 1, 2020). Population-Scale Testing Can Suppress the Spread of COVID-19. Pre-print downloaded May 4 from Medrxiv.