In a recent Wall Street Journal article that reviewed COVID-19 symptoms, treatment, and prevention, William Morice II, M.D., Ph.D., weighed in on the role of testing.
"If you think of testing as a safety net, the safety net is going to have holes," says Dr. Morice, chair of the Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology at Mayo Clinic and president of Mayo Clinic Laboratories. "A rigid testing regime doesn’t completely make someone safe. What it does is it helps you detect an outbreak early."
In the article's discussion of infection transmission, Dr. Morice also noted that people typically don't test positive for the virus immediately. It may be several days after an initial infection before a test for COVID-19 comes back positive. That makes prevention strategies, such as masking and social distancing, critical to curbing the spread of COVID-19.