Testing Technology Trends

Information for navigating COVID-19 with testing.

Given the unparalleled threats and uncertainty brought on by COVID-19, sharing information is more important than ever. Here you’ll gain insights, knowledge and strategies to help you navigate the challenges, improve decision-making and take control of your workplace and your life.


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Microscopic illustration of Corona Virus

All eyes on Israel and Brazil

February 8, 2021 | Mara G. Aspinall

Which COVID-19 strains are most worrisome? Can they re-infect people who’ve already recovered from one bout of the virus? Do mutations threaten to derail our testing strategies, treatment protocols and vaccine effectiveness?
Microscopic image of COVID-19 Corona Virus

How worried should we be about newly emerging strains of SARS CoV2?

January 12, 2021 | Mara G. Aspinall, Jonathan Quick

Will our efforts to gain COVID-19 herd immunity crack under the new virus strains? Here is a look at the most threatening strains that have developed so far and answers to your questions on how they’ll impact testing accuracy, mortality rates, vaccine effectiveness and more.
Illustration depicting infected individual among other individuals.

The good, the bad, and the ugly of COVID-19 superspreaders.

November 17, 2020 | Nichole Eshelman

Superspreaders: They’re nothing to sneeze at. Some people are simply more infectious than others who have the same disease. What’s more, these folks are likely responsible for the majority of COVID-19 cases. Learn what we know about superspreaders, what we don’t know and how to lower your risk of catching the virus.
Illustration of five vials containing liquid substance

Pooling test samples: How and when it works.

November 13, 2020 | Mara G. Aspinall, Carl Yamashiro

Pooled testing combines samples from several people into one test for infectious disease. It helps public health officials test more people in less time and with lower costs. Here’s how it works and when to use it.
Person coughing with illustration of virus moving through the air

COVID-19 primarily infects its victims via expired breath – so why are we not using breath to detect it?

October 22, 2020 | Mara G. Aspinall, Saja EL Yaacoub

One hundred-fifty years ago, Francis Anstie, an English doctor and first editor of the medical journal The Practitioner, documented that expired breath contained significant and measurable quantities of alcohol —probably not a surprise to his peers who visited a pub with him. Seventy years later, in 1938, a portable Drunkometer was introduced, relying on a color change when alcohol and acidified potassium permanganate were combined.

Falling vertical green text

COVID-19 Test Accuracy: When is too much of a good thing bad?

October 9, 2020 | Mara G. Aspinall

Inexpensive, while-you-wait tests administered often may be the key to controlling the COVID-19 epidemic, even if those tests are less accurate. Here’s why high-accuracy COVID-19 tests don’t help prevent disease spread as well as less sensitive ones.
Blue particles

Ghosts in the Air: The lesson learned from a bus trip.

October 6, 2020 | Mara G. Aspinall

Early in the pandemic, information indicated that the virus was spread primarily by touching contaminated surfaces. More recent evidence shows that the primary and most dangerous form of transmission occurs by inhaling invisible airborne virus particles. A group of bus travellers in China taught us a great deal about these invisible ghosts in the air.
Inside large underground utility tunnel

Wastewater testing for COVID-19 hot-spot detection: What’s the scoop on poop?

October 6, 2020 | Mara G. Aspinall

Analyzing wastewater samples to detect the presence of chemicals isn’t new. Health officials have long used it to ascertain the pervasiveness of opioids in communities. Using fecal samples to diagnose medical conditions isn’t new either, but researchers have begun analyzing wastewater with fecal testing tools and are finding it effective for community surveillance on the prevalence and severity of COVID-19.