According to a recent article in The New York Times, upwards of 90 percent of individuals who have tested positive for coronavirus have such small amounts of the virus present in their systems that they should not be considered to have tested positive for the virus. Basically, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) did not specify that the coronavirus tests contain any specific value or that those values be reported to doctors or patients. However, that value is the key to determining whether a person is capable of infecting others or carries any appreciable amount of virus in their systems. With other viral testing, this number is included in the lab result to the doctor and patient.
According to this article, “similar PCR tests for other viruses do offer some sense of how contagious an infected patient may be: The results may include a rough estimate of the amount of virus in the patient’s body. “We’ve been using one type of data for everything, and that is just plus or minus — that’s all,” Dr. Mina said. “We’re using that for clinical diagnostics, for public health, for policy decision-making.” “But yes-no isn’t good enough,” he added. “It’s the amount of virus that should dictate the infected patient’s next steps.”
Those upwards of 90 percent of individuals who did not have a sufficient viral load to test positive “would not need to isolate nor are they candidates for contact tracing.” Leading public health experts are now concerned that overtesting is responsible for misdiagnosing a huge number of people with harmless amounts of the virus in their systems,” according to Townhall.
The number of people with positive results who aren’t infectious is particularly concerning, said Scott Becker, executive director of the Association of Public Health Laboratories. “That worries me a lot, just because it’s so high.”https://www.nytimes.com/2020/08/29/health/coronavirus-testing.html
In three sets of testing data that include cycle thresholds, compiled by officials in Massachusetts, New York, and Nevada, up to 90 percent of people testing positive carried barely any virus, a review by The Times found.