Accuracy of U.S. coronavirus data thrown into question as decline in testing skews drop in new cases

Published by CNBC.COM

Summary generated on August 12, 2020

    Testing shortages in key states and other gaps in Covid-19 data call into question the accuracy of those numbers and whether the outbreak in the U.S. is really improving or whether cases are simply going undiagnosed, epidemiologists say.

    Covid-19 testing has declined as well, falling from a seven-day average of about 814,000 tests per day two weeks ago to about 716,000, a 12% decline, over the same two-week period, according to data compiled by the Covid Tracking Project, a volunteer project founded by journalists at The Atlantic magazine.

    The decline in testing is particularly acute in some of the hardest hit states with the worst outbreaks, which further skews the overall case numbers across the U.S.'Very concerning'.

    The increasing portion of tests coming back positive indicates that the state should be testing more, not less, especially as school districts prepare to reopen in the coming weeks, which she expects to complicate the outbreak even more.

    Florida, another state that's been driving the recent slowdown in new U.S. cases, has also seen testing drop.