Our mission to help you navigate the new normal is being driven by subscribers. Subscribe today to get unlimited access to our journalism.
Too many Americans test positive for COVID-19 as a percentage of all people screened for the disease – a worrying indicator that many states still don't test enough of their infected residents.
Arizona, Florida, South Carolina, and 25 other states have seen their "positivity rates," the percentage of people who test positive for corona virus, increasing, according to Johns Hopkins University's COVID-19 tracking project.
According to the World Health Organization, the positive rates in areas with adequate tests should be below 5% for at least 14 days. But Arizona now has a striking 25.3% positivity rate, meaning that one in four people tested has COVID-19.
Higher rates of positivity "could indicate that the state only tests the sickest patients who seek medical help and does not have a broad enough network to know how much the virus is spreading in its communities," said Johns Hopkins. Lower rates indicate that people with mild and asymptomatic cases are also screened for the coronavirus and that the state "tests enough of its population to make informed decisions about reopening".
The positive rate is 18.7% in Florida and 16.6% in South Carolina. Other countries that have recently seen an increase in confirmed daily coronavirus cases, including Texas and Mississippi, also have positive rates above 13%.
Connecticut, Maine and the former Coronavirus hotspot in New York have the lowest positive rates, each below or just over 1%, according to Johns Hopkins.
It is also worrying that the general positive rate in the US is increasing again. According to the COVID Tracking Project, it fell to only 4.2% in June. By July 6, however, it had risen to 7.3%, although the total number of tests performed had increased.
More Corona virus coverage from capital::
- Why black owned companies were hardest hit by the pandemic
- Pop-up retail was made for the pandemic
- How the Corona Virus Crisis Affected Women Entrepreneurs
- The continuing history of health inequalities for black Americans
- Reading e-books is booming during the coronavirus pandemic