What is COVID-19 dark testing?

Dr. Jen Ashton on the factors that could be contributing to dark testing.
2:11 | 09/18/20

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Transcript for What is COVID-19 dark testing?
week. We begin here with ABC chief medical correspondent, Dr. Jen Ashton. As we look at these numbers and follow some of the encouraging trends we're seeing here the United States, cases and deaths dropping, the focus is still on testing and how we can use those numbers to help us respond to these rates that have changed. And in particular, Amy, we need to talk about something called dark testing, which is growing issue. Dark testing testing the numbers don't show up, but that may be considerable in terms of their impact on statistics, trends, theories as to why this may be an issue, a very broadly and potentially disrupted testing landscape in the country, decentralized data collection, which is spotty and praguemented in many cases, and that's producing a blur picture of the covid cases and trends as we look at them state by state, city by city, region by region. Specifically, there are factors that you and they believe contribute to dark What they're theorizing a lot part of this good news/bad news the increase in the rapid testing, in antigen testing. When you look at this category, this is good because it's been given a faster result but many times it comes at an expense of sensitivity and lower accuracy, we've seen a dramatic increase in antigen testing, totaling millions per week. But, again, how those results are classified, probable S, whereas as a pcr they're defined as confirmed cases. This is making reporting logistically challenging and at this time, there are only six states that are making the antigen specific results available. We can't respond to this pandemic unless we have an accurate grasp on the numbers. And right now, that increase in antigen rapid testing will be the key to us reopening, but we need to be able to assess that data and it's been problematic so far. Dr. Jen, thank you so much for that.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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