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Pool Testing in Florida

Dr. Birx wants Florida to start new 'Pool Testing' for COVID-19

The White House Coronavirus Task Force is looking at a groundbreaking way to boost testing and, in turn, identifying positive cases in the state.

It's called "Pool Testing," which would allow allow large groups of people -- like families or students -- to all be tested at the same time.

Dr. Deborah Birx

Dr. Deborah Birx, coordinator of the task force, says Florida is a great place to try this kind of testing. She says it could bump up testing from 5,000 tests per day to 50,000.

"This is groundbreaking for putting people back in school and keeping universities open," she said.

Here's how it would work -- a whole group of people would provide samples. Those samples would be transported in the same tube and get tested all together.

From there, Dr. Birx says a negative result would clear everyone in the group.

"If anyone is positive, you would go back and use contact tracing to test everyone in the household," she said.

The Food and Drug Administration has also recently released information and guidelines on this kind of testing. They say this will allow for more results while using less testing supplies.

The FDA does warn that since the samples are diluted, pool testing could lead to a greater likelihood of false negative results.

by Danielle Apolinar

Friday, July 3rd 2020

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