The COVID-19 Testing Impact Calculator uses the following default assumptions for all calculations:
- The number of days a person is contagious is 10.
- The percentage of the US population that develops COVID-19 symptoms after becoming infected is 50%.
- The maximum number of days between testing is 21.
- The time an individual must wait to be sampled is 15 minutes.
- Assumes the prevalence of COVID-19 within an organization is no greater than that of the broader community.
The COVID-19 Testing Impact Calculator uses the following assumptions for test groups:
- The default assumptions do not represent any one individual test.
- Tests used for asymptomatic screening are currently used off-label and under practitioner guidance.
- Due to limited data for asymptomatic screening, the default settings chosen for each test group is a conservative estimate based upon consultation with industry experts.
Understanding Test Sensitivity & Test Specificity
- Tests with lower sensitivity may result in more false negatives, meaning the test is more likely to miss a true infection by producing a negative test result in people who are actually infected with COVID-19.
- Tests with lower specificity may result in more false positives, meaning if you receive a positive result, it indicates that you are likely to be infected with COVID-19, particularly if you are tested during the first week of infection and are symptomatic.
- If you receive a negative test result but are symptomatic, then consider quarantining and obtain a confirmatory test.
- If you receive a positive result you are likely to be infected with COVID-19 if you are symptomatic.
- If you receive a positive result when using a test with specificity below 99% and are not symptomatic (asymptomatic), the likelihood of false positives exists. You should consider a confirmatory molecular PCR test.