The country’s top health officials are banking on a new strategy to dramatically improve U.S. screening efforts for the coronavirus by combining evaluation samples in batches rather than running them one by one.
The advantages include expanding testing to millions, decreasing costs, and stretching lab supplies. Health officials think folks that aren’t currently showing symptoms are responsible for the number of instances across over half of states.
For now, federal health regulators have not cleared test manufacturers or any labs to use the method.
The principle is straightforward: Rather than running each individual’s test laboratories examine them and would combine sections of swab samples. Everybody would clear. A positive result would require each sample. Pooling works not the individual tests that are faster used in doctor’s offices or clinics.
Since that time it’s been adopted to screen blood samples for hepatitis and HIV. And developing countries have used samples that were pooled to extend testing supplies.