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NYT: Up to 90% of people who test positive for COVID-19 'are no longer contagious and don’t need to isolate'

The New York Times is out with a bombshell, and we do mean bombshell, of an article on COVID-19 that suggests we’ve been doing testing all wrong and up to 90% of the people who test positive for the virus might have viral loads so low that they “are no longer contagious and don’t need to isolate”

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The reporter, Apoorva Mandavilli, tweets, “It turns out that the PCR, that old reliable workhorse, is both too slow and too sensitive for what we need”:

In a nutshell, the PCR test is run in cycles and the more cycles it takes to get a positive result, the less virus you have in your system:

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In the U.S., the machines are calibrated at between 37 to 40 cycles, which, according to this report, is way too sensitive:

Note: We don’t have the numbers for every country, but India’s threshold is only 35:

A reasonable cycle threshold should be around 30:

The implications of this are massive:

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We’re figuratively (and quite possibly literally) letting our neighborhoods burn down:

The argument here is we need the FDA to approve “rapid, less sensitive tests”:

What’s worse is that these labs aren’t even reporting back the number of cycles it takes to get a positive test, only yes or no:

You can read the entire piece here:

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Some excerpts:

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