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Here's one way to make daily covid-19 testing feasible on a mass scale

MIT Technology Review

It's impossible to contain covid-19 without knowing who's infected: until a safe and effective vaccine is widely available, stopping transmission is the name of the game. While testing capacity has increased, it's nowhere near what's needed to screen patients without symptoms, who account for nearly half of the virus's transmission. Our research points to a compelling opportunity for data science to effectively multiply today's testing capacity: if we combine machine learning with test pooling, large populations can be tested weekly or even daily, for as low as $3 to $5 per person per day. In other words, for the price per test of a cup of coffee, governments can safely reopen the economy and halt ongoing covid-19 transmission--all without building new labs and without new drugs or vaccines. Most people get tested for the coronavirus because they experienced symptoms, or came in close contact with someone who did.


'Pooled testing' for coronavirus holds promise, pitfalls

Boston Herald

The nation's top health officials are banking on a new approach to dramatically boost U.S. screening for the coronavirus: combining test samples in batches instead of running them one by one. The potential benefits include stretching laboratory supplies, reducing costs and expanding testing to millions more Americans who may unknowingly be spreading the virus. Health officials think infected people who aren't showing symptoms are largely responsible for the rising number of cases across more than half of states. "Pooling would give us the capacity to go from a half-a-million tests per day to potentially 5 million individuals tested per day," Dr. Deborah Birx, the White House's coronavirus response coordinator, told a recent meeting of laboratory experts. For now, federal health regulators have not cleared any labs or test maker to use the technique.


'Pooled testing' for COVID-19 holds promise, pitfalls

FOX News

Coronavirus cases surpass 10 million worldwide; Steve Harrigan reports. WASHINGTON (AP) -- The nation's top health officials are banking on a new approach to dramatically boost U.S. screening for the coronavirus: combining test samples in batches instead of running them one by one. The potential benefits include stretching laboratory supplies, reducing costs and expanding testing to millions more Americans who may unknowingly be spreading the virus. Health officials think infected people who aren't showing symptoms are largely responsible for the rising number of cases across more than half of states. "Pooling would give us the capacity to go from a half-a-million tests per day to potentially 5 million individuals tested per day," Dr. Deborah Birx, the White House's coronavirus response coordinator, told a recent meeting of laboratory experts.


Coronavirus Update: Wuhan Tested 9M People In 10 Days, 180 Test Positive

International Business Times

The Chinese city of Wuhan, the epicenter of the novel coronavirus outbreak, had a viral homecoming of sorts when a few new cases, described as a "handful," were discovered at a housing compound. The city's response was an attempt to test each one of the 11 million people who call Wuhan home. Medical authorities report that they fell a bit short of testing everyone but still managed to run coronavirus swab tests on more than 9 million people in the past 10 days. On Friday (May 22), the test count was 1.47 million, more than triple the number of tests performed on a single day in the U.S., going by the data from Atlantic's COVID Tracking Project. The results were optimistic with only 180 people testing positive as asymptomatic carriers of the coronavirus.


Army tests HPC climate model in Azure cloud -- GCN

#artificialintelligence

The Army Engineer Research and Development Center (ERDC) is working with Microsoft to improve climate modeling and natural disaster resilience planning through the use of predictive analytics-powered, cloud-based tools and artificial intelligence services. Under a new agreement, ERDC will test the scalability of its coastal storm modeling system, CSTORM-MS -- which was previously run on high-performance computers -- inside Microsoft's Azure Government cloud. The CSTORM-MS models provide can give coastal communities a robust, standardized approach for determining the risk of future storm events and for evaluating flood risk reduction measures caused by tropical and extra-tropical storms, as well as wind, wave and water levels. Currently, CSTORM-MS models are run at ERDC's Department of Defense Supercomputing Resource Center. In 2020, ERDC worked with DOD's High Performance Modernization Program's (HPCMP) on a feasibility study testing whether CSTORM-MS could be run in a commercial cloud.