Prayer #81: For COVID-19 Testing
In the midst of the Coronavirus outbreak, one of the most vitally important weapons in fighting the spread of the virus is testing. There are two types of tests, each different from the other in a most important way. To test for active cases of COVID-19, nasal swaps, throat swaps, or saliva samples are taken and examined for viral genetic material. The tests, though not 100% accurate, indicate whether or not the person being tested has an active COVID-19 infection at the time of testing. The other test, for antibodies of COVID-19, only indicates past infections of the virus, not a present infection. So, a positive antibody test indicates that a person has already been exposed to the virus and, sometimes without the person realizing that he or she had it, has already recovered from it. This test is somewhat ambiguous also since even with a negative result, a person could have the virus but not have yet built up enough detectable antibodies for fighting it off.
The two types of tests, then, give very different information. The first one gives real-time infection information; the second one (antibody) is more like looking in the rearview mirror. Unfortunately, the Centers for Disease Control and some state health departments have been combining the results of both kinds of testing and reporting them as a grand tally, which has the effect of inflating the reported numbers of active cases, perhaps significantly so. Since the governors of the states and the mayors of larger cities are basing their restriction/reopening actions on these numbers, this is very important. We want to pray today for a more uniform reporting of COVID-19 tests.
Indeed, we pray today for much better overall scrutiny and accurate reporting of active COVID-19 cases. Presently, there is no centralized examination of the data coming from the many, many health organizations doing the testing across the nation. Pray for more consistent standards of the reports of tests. The accuracy of the number of active cases at any given time is of the utmost importance in the successful war against the Coronavirus.
Nahum. 1:7 "The Lord is good, a stronghold in the day of trouble; He knows those who take refuge in Him."