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AAMC Recommendations for COVID-19 Testing Appendix A: Proposed Testing Strategies and Population Approximations

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Population Approximate total in the United States Testing strategy Minimum daily tests needed
Symptomatic individuals 30,000 – 50,000 Each person newly identified with symptoms each day, estimated based on a current positive case rate of over 5% (meaning that too few people are being tested), an asymptomatic rate of 40%, a current number of daily positive tests between 40,000 and 50,000 and rising, and an understanding that symptomatic individuals are more likely to seek out a test. 30,000 – 50,000
Close contacts of every positive case identified (whether symptomatic or asymptomatic) 750,000 Each contact identified, assuming an average of 10 contacts for 75,000 new cases identified each day if testing targets are being met. 750,000
Inpatient admissions or outpatient surgeries 57,000,000 per year1 Every inpatient admission of outpatient surgery patient. In a regular year prior to COVID-19, U.S. hospitals provided 37 million inpatient admissions and 20 million outpatient operations. 155,000
Hospital employees 6,600,0002 Strategic, risk-based sampling of 20% per day. 1,320,000
Law enforcement 700,0003 Strategic, risk-based sampling of 5% per day. 35,000
Paramedics and EMTs 265,0004 Strategic, risk-based sampling of 10% per day. 26,500
Nursing home residents 1,300,0005 Strategic, risk-based sampling of 5% per day. 65,000
Prison population 1,400,0006 Strategic, risk-based sampling of 5% per day. 70,000
Homeless shelters 1,400,0007 Strategic, risk-based sampling of 5% of predicted population (may be higher percentage of current service seekers). 70,000
K-12 teachers 3,700,0008 Routine testing of each teacher, with at least one test per teacher per week. 530,000
K-12 students 56,400,0009 Strategic, risk-based sampling of 5% of students each day. 2,820,000
College and university students 19,750,00010 Routine testing of each student, with at least one test per week per student. 2,820,000
College and university faculty and staff 3,150,00011 Strategic, risk-based sampling of 20% per day. 630,000