Apr 26, 2020 - Health

Fauci: U.S. coronavirus testing numbers should soon double

Data: The COVID Tracking Project; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

Anthony Fauci said during a National Academy of Sciences webcast Saturday that the U.S. should be able to double the number of diagnostic tests for the novel coronavirus in the next few weeks.

Why it matters: The U.S. needs to "have enough tests to respond to the outbreaks that will inevitably occur as you try and ease your way back into the different phases," the key White House coronavirus task force member said. The number of COVID-19 tests conducted in the U.S. surpassed 5.1 million on Saturday.

What he's saying: Fauci noted the U.S. is testing roughly 1.5 million to 2 million people a week.

  • "We probably should get up to twice that as we get into the next several weeks, and I think we will," he said.
  • The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases director noted that testing is an "important tool" in curbing the spread of the coronavirus, but "it's not the only part." "I don't want to get fixated on how many tests you need," he added, stressing the need for isolation, identification and contact tracing.

Zoom in: The COVID Tracking Project data shows coronavirus testing has been trending up this week.

  • Alabama, in particular, has reported a testing spike. The state reported Saturday over 18,649 tests, many more than its previous high this week of 3,881 on Thursday, per The COVID Tracking Project.

Go deeper

Updated 23 hours ago - Health

World coronavirus updates

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

Latin America, Africa, Asia and the Middle East all recorded spikes in coronavirus infections Thursday as cases spread to new hot spots worldwide.

By the numbers: More than 6.5 million people have tested positive for COVID-19 worldwide and over 2.8 million have recovered from the virus. Over 387,000 people have died globally. The U.S. has reported the most cases in the world with over 1.8 million.

Updated 18 hours ago - Health

U.S. coronavirus updates

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios. This graphic includes "probable deaths" that New York City began reporting on April 14.

The Department of Health and Human Services moved on Thursday to require that an individual's race, ethnicity, age and sex be submitted to the agency with novel coronavirus test results.

Why it matters: Some cities and states have reported the virus is killing black people at disproportionately high rates. There are gaps in the national picture of how many people of color are affected, since the data has not been a requirement for states to collect or disclose.

19 hours ago - Health

HHS requests data on race and ethnicity with coronavirus test results

A nurse writes a note as a team of doctors and nurses performs a procedure on a coronavirus patient in the Regional Medical Center on May 21 in San Jose, California. Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

The Department of Health and Human Services moved on Thursday to require that an individual's race, ethnicity, age and sex be submitted to the agency with novel coronavirus test results.

Why it matters: Some cities and states have reported the virus is killing black people at disproportionately high rates. There are gaps in the national picture of how many people of color are affected, since the data has not been a requirement for states to collect or disclose.