Los Angeles Times: Californians are testing positive for COVID-19 at the lowest rate on record

Los Angeles Times: Californians are testing positive for COVID-19 at the lowest rate on record. “Over the last seven days, just 3.5% of COVID-19 tests in California came back positive, the lowest rate since the state began reporting the data in late March. A month ago, the positive test rate was nearly twice as high. The number of new confirmed cases has fallen to the lowest level since mid-June, according to a Times analysis of state data. Hospitalizations for COVID-19 have fallen to the lowest levels since the start of April, with 2,869 patients in hospital beds Saturday.”

White House offered tests to Big Ten to resume football: Sources (ABC News)

ABC News: White House offered tests to Big Ten to resume football: Sources. “As President Donald Trump pushed the Big Ten in recent weeks to restart college football amid the coronavirus pandemic, the White House offered to provide the college athletic conference with enough COVID-19 tests for play to begin, a university official briefed on the matter and a senior Trump administration official said. The Big Ten ultimately sourced the tests from a private company instead, the officials said.”

ProPublica: A Doctor Went to His Own Employer for a COVID-19 Antibody Test. It Cost $10,984.

ProPublica: A Doctor Went to His Own Employer for a COVID-19 Antibody Test. It Cost $10,984.. “When Dr. Zachary Sussman went to Physicians Premier ER in Austin for a COVID-19 antibody test, he assumed he would get a freebie because he was a doctor for the chain. Instead, the free-standing emergency room charged his insurance company an astonishing $10,984 for the visit — and got paid every penny, with no pushback. The bill left him so dismayed he quit his job. And now, after ProPublica’s questions, the parent company of his insurer said the case is being investigated and could lead to repayment or a referral to law enforcement.”

Associated Press: Bold hopes for virus antibody tests still unfulfilled

Associated Press: Bold hopes for virus antibody tests still unfulfilled. “For now, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the American Medical Association explicitly warn that antibody tests should not be used to make decisions about returning workers to the office or students to school, though some labs still promote them for those uses. The CDC recommends everyone — even those who were sick and recovered — take precautions to prevent getting and spreading the virus.”

AP: Hong Kong begins mass testing for virus amid public doubts

AP: Hong Kong begins mass testing for virus amid public doubts. “Hong Kong tested more than 120,000 people for the coronavirus [September 1] at the start of a mass-testing effort that’s become another political flash point in the semi-autonomous Chinese territory. Volunteers stood in lines at some of the more than 100 testing centers, though many residents are distrustful of the resources and staff being provided by China’s central government and some have expressed fear DNA could be collected.”

National Library of Medicine: Why Testing is the Key to Getting Back to Normal

National Library of Medicine: Why Testing is the Key to Getting Back to Normal. “One thing we know for sure – every single person can help our country control the COVID-19 pandemic. From wearing a mask to washing your hands to maintaining physical distance and avoiding large indoor gatherings, each of us can follow proven public health practices that not only reduce our own chance of getting infected by SARS-CoV-2 (the virus that causes coronavirus disease, or COVID-19), but also prevent the spread of COVID-19 to our coworkers, friends and loved ones. Another thing that will help is testing as many people as possible.”

CNN: Fauci says he was in surgery when task force discussed CDC testing guidelines

CNN: Fauci says he was in surgery when task force discussed CDC testing guidelines. “White House Coronavirus Task Force member Dr. Anthony Fauci said he was undergoing surgery and not in the August 20 task force meeting for the discussion on updated US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines that suggest asymptomatic people may not need to be tested for Covid-19, even if they’ve been in close contact with an infected person.”

CNN: CDC was pressured ‘from the top down’ to change coronavirus testing guidance, official says

CNN: CDC was pressured ‘from the top down’ to change coronavirus testing guidance, official says. “A sudden change in federal guidelines on coronavirus testing came this week as a result of pressure from the upper ranks of the Trump administration, a federal health official close to the process tells CNN, and a key White House coronavirus task force member was not part of the meeting when the new guidelines were discussed.”

New York Times: Why Pooled Testing for the Coronavirus Isn’t Working in America

New York Times: Why Pooled Testing for the Coronavirus Isn’t Working in America. “The decades-old approach combines samples from multiple people to save time and precious testing supplies. Federal health officials like Dr. Anthony S. Fauci and Adm. Brett Giroir said pooling would allow for constant surveillance of large sectors of the community, and said they hoped it would be up and running nationwide by the time students returned to school. But now, when the nation desperately needs more coronavirus tests to get a handle on the virus’s spread, this efficient approach has become worthless in many places, in part because there are simply too many cases to catch.”

Salon: University of Texas anticipates testing “several hundred” symptomatic people every day

Salon: University of Texas anticipates testing “several hundred” symptomatic people every day. “The president of the University of Texas at Austin (UT) sent an email Wednesday announcing that the school anticipates that it may need to provide “several hundred tests” each day for community members who show signs of COVID-19. The university, one of the largest and highest-ranked research institutions in the country, has studied coronavirus in a joint research program with the Wuhan Institute of Virology and publishes one of the premier epidemiological models in the United States.”

STAT News: This tiny Texas company is running most of the drive-thru Covid-19 testing in the U.S.

STAT News: This tiny Texas company is running most of the drive-thru Covid-19 testing in the U.S.. “That company, eTrueNorth, doesn’t run Covid-19 tests, ship them to and from labs, or employ the staff at testing sites. Instead, the company is acting as a kind of conductor, helping to oversee a patchwork of clinical laboratories, pharmacy staff, and technical infrastructure. The company has brought in more than $90 million in federal contracts to help oversee more than 350 sites and pay for the tests, according to a federal contracts database.”

New York Times: A Hospital Forgot to Bill Her Coronavirus Test. It Cost Her $1,980.

New York Times: A Hospital Forgot to Bill Her Coronavirus Test. It Cost Her $1,980.. “Ms. [Debbie] Krebs had a clear memory of the experience, particularly the doctor saying the coronavirus test would make her feel as if she had to sneeze. She wondered whether the doctor could have lied about performing the test, or if her swab could have gone missing. (But if so, why had the laboratory called her with results?) The absence of the coronavirus test made a big price difference. Insurers, Ms. Krebs had heard, were not charging patients for visits meant to diagnose coronavirus. Without the test, Ms. Krebs didn’t qualify for that protection and owed $1,980. She called the hospital to explain the situation but immediately ran into roadblocks.”

ScienceBlog: Yale’s Rapid COVID-19 Saliva Test Receives FDA Emergency Use Authorization

ScienceBlog: Yale’s Rapid COVID-19 Saliva Test Receives FDA Emergency Use Authorization. “The method, called SalivaDirect, is being further validated as a test for asymptomatic individuals through a program that tests players and staff from the National Basketball Association (NBA). SalivaDirect is simpler, less expensive, and less invasive than the traditional method for such testing, known as nasopharyngeal (NP) swabbing. Results so far have found that SalivaDirect is highly sensitive and yields similar outcomes as NP swabbing.”