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Science Lab

United States COVID-19 Testing Tracker

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Currently, there are two types of diagnostic tests for COVID-19: molecular (RT-PCR) tests, which detect the virus' genetic material and antigen tests that detect specific proteins on the surface of the virus. Molecular and antigen tests are performed using samples taken mostly from the nose and throat using a long swab, or other respiratory specimens. As of June 17, 2021, 507,583,701 tests have been performed in the U.S., and 38,843,206 tests came back positive.

Last update:

On May 12, 2020 the World Health Organization (WHO) advised governments that before reopening, rates of positivity in testing (ie, out of all tests conducted, how many came back positive for COVID-19) of should remain at 5% or lower for at least 14 days.

If a positivity rate is too high, that may indicate that the state is only testing the sickest patients who seek medical attention, and is not casting a wide enough net to know how much of the virus is spreading within its communities. A low rate of positivity in testing data can be seen as a sign that a state has sufficient testing capacity for the size of their outbreak and is testing enough of its population to make informed decisions about reopening. Which U.S. states are testing enough to meet the WHO’s goal?

guidlines

Need Information on Testing? Find it here

The data represent viral COVID-19 laboratory test (reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction) results from laboratories in the United States, including commercial and reference laboratories, public health laboratories, hospital laboratories, and other testing locations. The data represent laboratory test totals—not individual people—and exclude antibody and antigen tests. The data are provisional and subject to change.

 Data reported for each state and territory may be delayed several days in order to mitigate discrepancies in daily test counts due to variation in jurisdiction reporting. The data may also not include results from all testing sites within a jurisdiction (e.g., point-of-care test sites) and therefore reflect the majority, but not all, COVID-19 tests in the United States.

7-30 day map

This time series dataset includes daily Nucleic Acid Amplification Tests (NAATs) Performed and COVID-19 Nucleic Acid Amplification Tests (NAATs) 7-day Percent Positivity from over 1,000 U.S. laboratories and testing locations including commercial and reference laboratories, public health laboratories, hospital laboratories, and other testing locations.

Data presented here is representative of diagnostic specimens being tested - not individual people - and excludes serology tests where possible. Data presented might not represent the most current counts for the most recent 2 days due to the time it takes to report testing information. The data may also not include results from all potential testing sites within the jurisdiction (e.g., non-laboratory or point of care test sites) and therefore reflect the majority, but not all, of COVID-19 testing being conducted in the United States.

historical data

Data represents historical COVID-19 testing data for the United States. Negative PCR Tests (people) is defined by the total number of unique people with a completed PCR test that returns negative. For states / territories that do not report this number directly, I compute it using one of several methods, depending on which data points the state provides. Due to complex reporting procedures, this number might be mixing units and therefore, at best, it should only be considered an estimate of the number of people with a completed PCR test that return negative.

 

For total tests results, this metric is a summary statistic which, because of the variation in test reporting methods, is at best an estimate of US viral (PCR) testing. Some states/territories report tests in units of test encounters, some report tests in units of specimens Moreover, some jurisdictions include antigen tests in their total test counts without reporting a separate total of viral (PCR) tests. Therefore, this value is an aggregate calculation of heterogeneous figures. 

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