AAMC releases recommendations on COVID-19 testing

Oct. 23, 2020

The Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) released updated recommendations for a national testing strategy to identify, track, and help curtail the spread of COVID-19, according to a press release.

As part of a national pandemic response strategy, the AAMC recommends “a rapid and dramatic increase in testing, from the current level of less than one million tests per day to a sustained and regular testing target of as many as nine million people each day based on the current reach of the virus.”

Specifically, it recommends a strategic, risk-based program to perform more than 800,000 diagnostic tests daily for each symptomatic person and the close contracts (symptomatic and asymptomatic) of every person with a positive test result.

AAMC also said more than 8 million additional daily tests would be for screening purposes, including:

•             Every person who enters a healthcare facility for an inpatient admission or outpatient surgery

•             Every K-12 teacher, all healthcare providers in hospital settings, and first responders (including law enforcement officers, paramedics, and EMTs)

•             A sampling of incarcerated individuals, residents and staff in homeless shelters, and residents in nursing homes and assisted-living facilities

“These categories are not exhaustive. Additional testing may be needed for other essential workers and individuals, such as contact tracers, delivery and retail personnel, employees of agricultural and meatpacking businesses, and public transportation employees,” the AAMC said.

Other recommendations include:

·        A clear and transparent national testing strategy with specific methods to calculate diagnostic and screening testing targets, with each state implementing the standards the same way

·         Detailing each use of the Defense Production Act for testing supplies on a publicly available website

·         A functional partnership between the federal government, state health authorities, academic institutions, and industry to fund and accelerate screening and surveillance testing for COVID-19

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