June 16, 2021
Volume 2 | Issue 14
The news this week was all about debates on topics like:
Which test type is best (PCR vs. Antigen)
How to validate Antigen tests (PCR standard vs. independent standard)
Where to test (local testing centers vs. at home)
Where COVID-19 originated (from the wild vs. from the lab)
When COVID-19 came to the US (2019 vs. 2020)
June 9, 2021
Volume 2 | Issue 13
- The short, medium and long term future of COVID testing. Current testing numbers are down but the big question is what will happen in the fall with schools and businesses mostly back in-person?
- The impact of Variants of Concern. The WHO introduced a new naming convention using the Greek Alphabet and not the countries of initial identification. The big question is the uncertainty around B.1.617.2 (now VOC Delta) - will it cause a new surge and exploit the unvaccinated?
- School testing. With the spring semester ending - the focus moves to summer camps and other programs. We take a deeper look at the youngest learners with an update on a new testing program in pre-schools and childcare. The big question in the education arena is how many colleges will require vaccination?
May 26, 2021
Volume 2 | Issue 12
- Testing Updates: We lowered our capacity projections to reflect reduced demand, decreased interest in building new capacity as well as fewer than expected new EUAs. But innovation continues with a new technology debut in Singapore. K-12 testing scales down for spring but readies for summer and fall. Late breaking: DoD announces Coordination Hub winners - see inside.
- COVID’s Origin: Recent analysis reveals a potential role of the Wuhan Institute of Virology and the origin of COVID. More to come as additional information emerges. Just in: President Biden set a 90 day deadline for a full accounting on this issue.
- Man's Best Friend: More developments on a canine coronavirus (see inside to see what all the barking is about!)
May 17, 2021
Volume 2 | Issue 11
Best news: All 50 states are reporting a decrease of COVID cases.
Biggest news: The CDC issued new and mostly relaxed guidelines on the use of masks and testing for vaccinated individuals.
Sad news: The pandemic rages on in India with only moderate improvements in the availability of critical necessary supplies.
News to watch: Taiwan saw an extraordinary increase in cases after 253 days without a single case.
Surprising news: Nine members of the NY Yankees organization tested positive after vaccination.
Late breaking news: Today the FDA (CDR) issued a safety communication that antibody tests “should not be used to evaluate immunity or protection from COVID-19 at any time, and especially after the person received a COVID-19 vaccination.”
May 12, 2021
Volume 2 | Issue 10
This week was full of news:
Good news - The US COVID death rate has fallen to 600 a day and new cases to 38,000 a day. For comparison, the death rate is still almost double the death rate from the flu for the worst flu season in recent history.
Great news - The Pfizer / BioNTech vaccine is now FDA authorized for 12 to 15 year olds. With CDC’s expected authorization tomorrow - vaccinations are
Bad news - The WHO has designated a fourth variant of concern, B.1.617, which appears to be highly transmissible and the dominant variant in India and rapidly rising in 40 other countries.
May 5, 2021
Volume 2 | Issue 9
A relatively quiet week for COVID related issues in the US, therefore a good week to step back and provide some commentary on where we are in the US compared to the rest of the world and opine on what the near term future might hold.
April 28, 2021
Volume 2 | Issue 8
This week’s newsletter is being sent now to align with the release of the Keeping Workers Well Employer Survey from Arizona State University which, with support from The Rockefeller Foundation, examines how employers are coping with the pandemic and their plans for the future. The Report, Back to the Workplace: Are we there yet? Key Insights from Employers One Year Into the Pandemic contains
responses from 1,339 employers, 75% of which have more than 250 employees.
April 7, 2021
Volume 2 | Issue 5
A special edition Q1 Roundup summarizes all the EUAs and EUA Amendments in Q1 and key takeaways. We also update capacity numbers to reflect recent EUAs and manufacturing updates.
March 31, 2021
Volume 2 | Issue 4
The Rockefeller Foundation and Health Catalysts Group release the K-12 National Testing Action Program: Connecting Schools with the Nation's Leading Testing Companies to Safely Reopen, enabled by the Biden administration's $10 billion allocation to school COVID-19 testing.
March 24, 2021
Volume 2 | Issue 3
FDA marks some firsts with the first EUA for a COVID screening device which identifies infection through certain biomarkers and the first COVID diagnostic to receive full marketing authorization rather than an EUA. We also examine why there are so many damaging variants emerging.
March 17, 2021
Volume 2 | Issue 2
Capacity projections are significantly reduced to reflect reduction in demand, however we also discuss the "wild cards" that could impact capacity and the new federal investment in school testing.
March 10, 2021
Volume 2 | Issue 1
With increased FDA focus on home tests and home test collection kits, we explain what these different types of tests are and how many of each are on the market.
March 3, 2021
Volume 1 | Issue 10
Small update to capacity numbers this week, while novel strains continue to dominate the research and policy conversation and the Biden administration expands insurance coverage of COVID-19 tests.
February 24, 2021
Volume 1 | Issue 9
An update to capacity numbers reflects EUA's that failed to materialize in February. We also track a new FDA policy on test and variants and new investments in testing infrastructure from the Biden Administration.
Mara G. Aspinall, Arizona State University
Melea Atkins, COVID-19 Response Advisors
Simon Johnson, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Brandon Henry, MD, Cincinatti Children's Hospital Medical Center
Andrea Ciaranello, MD, Massachusetts General Hospital
Sarah Igoe, MD, Arizona State University
Fer Sagastume, COVID-19 Response Advisors