[Vision2020] Idaho's Current Ranking in COVID-19 Testing (14 May 2020)

Kenneth Marcy kmmos1 at frontier.com
Thu May 14 15:03:54 PDT 2020

Everyone likes to be Number One -- right?

Well, not when Number One is the worst of this list of states, and 
Number Fifty is the best.

Idaho's position in the list reported by this article is Number One.


Nearly All States Are Undertesting for COVID-19 and Here's What It Looks 
Samuel Stebbins
May 13, 2020 1:38 pm
Last Updated: May 14, 2020 2:03 pm

More than 1.3 million Americans have been infected with the coronavirus 
since the first case was confirmed in the U.S. on Jan. 21, 2020. From 
President Donald Trump down to state and local leaders, officials have 
compared the fight against COVID-19 to a war. Unlike a traditional 
wartime enemy, however, the virus is invisible — a complicating factor 
partially attributable to the woeful lack of testing capabilities in the 
United States.

Testing is a critical COVID-19 containment tool as it enables us to 
identify those who are infected and isolate them from healthy people. 
According to researchers at Harvard University, the U.S. needs to be 
able to conduct a minimum of about 152 daily tests for every 100,000 
people in order to safely reopen the economy — a standard very few 
states are currently able to meet. Over the week ending on May 11, the 
average daily rate nationwide was just 92 tests administered for every 
100,000 people.

24/7 Wall St. reviewed the average number of daily tests administered 
for every 100,000 people to determine how far off each state is for 
meeting the minimum recommended testing levels to safely reopen. In 20 
states, average daily testing rates are less than half of what is 

In an interview with 24/7 Wall St., Mark Siedner, associate professor of 
infectious diseases at Harvard University, laid out some of the reasons 
widespread testing takes time. Necessary levels of testing requires 
personnel to conduct and process the tests, machines to run specimens, 
and a reliable international supply chain. “You’re really asking the 
diagnostic community to go from zero to millions in a week or two,” 
Siedner said.

Testing efforts in the U.S. were initially slowed when the Centers for 
Disease Control and Prevention failed in its attempt to develop a 
working test for the virus. In response, the federal government lifted 
restrictions on March 3, allowing health care companies to develop and 
distribute their own tests.

Despite limited testing capabilities, many states are letting their 
stay-at-home orders expire and are easing other restrictions. Many 
experts fear that these premature reopenings will lead to a second wave 
of the virus. Here is when every state plans to lift COVID-19 restrictions.

“The worst thing that can happen is that we [reopen] blindly, without 
measuring its effects, clearly and carefully,” Siedner warned.

*1. Idaho*
*> Avg. daily tests as pct. of expert recommendation:* 12.4%
*> Avg. daily test rate from May 5 – May 11, 2020:* 18.8 new tests per 
100,000 people (330 tests per day)
*> Positive test rate:* 7.0% (17th lowest)
*> COVID-19 infection rate as of May 11, 2020:* 116.8 per 100,000 people 
— 8th lowest (2,049 total cases)
*> COVID-19 death rate as of May 11, 2020:* 3.8 per 100,000 people — 
10th lowest (67 total deaths)
*> Cumulative tests performed as of May 11, 2020:* 31,961 (8th fewest)
*> Date of first case:* March 1, 2020
*> Total population:* 1.8 million (12th fewest)



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