Even A Bad Test Can Help Guide the Decision to Isolate: Covid Simulations Part 3
March 25, 2020
How much difference does it make if the test used to send people into quarantine is bad? Not as much as you might think.
The simulated data here contrast policies that isolate people who test positive using four different assumptions about the quality of the test. Even a very bad test cuts the fraction of the population who are ultimately infected almost in half. And when I say bad, I mean bad – an 80% false negative rate, which means that 4 out of 5 of people who are truly infectious will get a negative test result – i.e. a result saying that they are not infectious.