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Photo: Pavlo Gonchar/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Thursday confirmed that it has been combining the results of diagnostic coronavirus tests and coronavirus antibody tests, The Atlantic reports.

Why it matters: Including antibody test results distorts data on the prevalence of the coronavirus and can overstate the ability to safely begin the reopening process.

  • A positive COVID-19 test means a person is currently carrying the coronavirus, while a positive antibody test suggests the individual has been infected in the past.

What they're saying: Harvard professor of global health Ashish Jha told The Atlantic, "Because antibody tests are meant to be used on the general population, not just symptomatic people, they will, in most cases, have a lower percent-positive rate than viral tests."

  • Jha says the CDC's combination of the two tests makes their results "uninterpretable," and that the distortion will "drive down your positive rate in a very dramatic way."

Go deeper

Updated Oct 7, 2020 - Health

World coronavirus updates

Expand chart
Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Axios Visuals

New Zealand now has active no coronavirus cases in the community after the final six people linked to the Auckland cluster recovered, the country's Health Ministry confirmed in an email Wednesday.

The big picture: The country's second outbreak won't officially be declared closed until there have been "no new cases for two incubation periods," the ministry said. Auckland will join the rest of NZ in enjoying no domestic restrictions from late Wednesday, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said, declaring that NZ had "beat the virus again."

Aug 29, 2020 - World

Europe fears second coronavirus wave as cases surge

A representation of the coronavirus at a Berlin protest against Germany's virus restrictions on Aug. 28. Photo: Abdulhamid Hosbas/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Several European countries have reported a jump in new coronavirus cases in recent weeks after a drop in cases over June and July, according to Johns Hopkins University data.

Why it matters: The surge could indicate that Europe is on the verge of a second wave, though currently fewer people are dying from the virus and new cases have needed less medical treatment than those who got it in the spring, according to the Washington Post.

Updated Aug 30, 2020 - World

Berlin police break up protests against coronavirus restrictions

A protester confronting a police officer in Berlin on Aug. 28. Photo: Abdulhamid Hosbas/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Berlin police arrested 300 demonstrators after disbanding a protest Saturday over Germany's coronavirus restrictions as tens of thousands of participants refused to maintain social distancing, per the BBC.

Why it matters: Berlin's regional government tried to ban the protest earlier this week, citing concern for public health. Protesters successfully appealed the decision on Friday, though a court required demonstrators to observe social distancing.