Want to keep track of our work? Sign up for PoP BC updates, actions, public health information, and announcements.

The New England Journal of Medicine: Rethinking Covid-19 Test Sensitivity — A Strategy for Containment

It’s time to change how we think about the sensitivity of testing for Covid-19. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the scientific community are currently almost exclusively focused on test sensitivity, a measure of how well an individual assay can detect viral protein or RNA molecules. Critically, this measure neglects the context of how the test is being used. Yet when it comes to the broad screening the United States so desperately needs, context is fundamental. The key question is not how well molecules can be detected in a single sample but how effectively infections can be detected in a population by the repeated use of a given test as part of an overall testing strategy — the sensitivity of the testing regimen.

A regimen of regular testing works as a sort of Covid-19 filter, by identifying, isolating, and thus filtering out currently infected persons, including those who are asymptomatic. Measuring the sensitivity of a testing regimen or filter requires us to consider a test in context: how often it’s used, to whom it’s applied, when in the course of an infection it works, and whether its results are returned in time to prevent spread.1-3

Archived Briefings from Protect Our Province BC

A Protect Our Province BC panel discussion with A panel discussion about how we as a community can pull together to create a safer learning environment for kids when school starts again in September! We can avoid another ‘tripledemic’ if we work together! Ready for Fall 2023? video: Briefing video:
“COVID-19 vaccination is safe during pregnancy and may protect newborns from infection, especially if vaccines are given in the second or third trimester. This is similar to what we are already doing with other maternal vaccines, including TDaP and seasonal influenza.” – Dr. Eastabrook
“If we had an epidemic of people with broken limbs and we saw people in plasters and crutches, it would be more evident. But there is a lot of disability that is happening, which is a hidden disability often, which is why we need to talk about it more, for people to understand what the consequences are. And that will help to make better decisions.” - Lynette

More News from Protect Our Province BC

Second in a series of two posts by an Alberta mom. Find the first post here: No One Is Listening To Me Image: The Rona Lisa by Rosie Pidgeon, a young Belfast art student living with Long Covid.  To view her artwork, please visit @art_byrosie_ Alberta Long Covid Kids During the Delta wave in October… Continue reading No More Stolen Childhoods
Alberta Mom Photo: @BerlinBuyers My first confirmed Covid infection was in fall 2022 at a time when the few Covid protections we had left only applied to healthcare settings. I knew I was at higher risk of developing Long Covid as I am a working age woman. This terrified me as my son had already had… Continue reading No One is Listening to Me
General Information Q: How accurate are Rapid Antigen Tests?  A: Positive test results on rapid tests are generally accurate, and if you test positive you should take precautions (wear a high-quality respirator mask, isolate, inform your contacts) to avoid passing on the virus.  A negative test doesn't necessarily mean your don't have Covid; it *could*… Continue reading Covid-19 Rapid Antigen Test (RAT) – FAQ