COVID-19 testing dip could show deceptive decline in spread

A dip in COVID testing over the holidays may result in the false perception that the spread of the virus is slowing, experts warn.

“I just hope that people don’t misinterpret the numbers and think that there wasn’t a major surge as a result of Thanksgiving, and then end up making Christmas and Hanukkah and other travel plans,” said Dr. Leana Wen, a professor at George Washington University and an emergency physician.

Testing numbers are typically lower on Saturdays and Sundays, and a long holiday weekend for Thanksgiving is likely to increase the typical lag.

Already, the number of tests and new positive cases has declined significantly. As of Friday, positive case numbers had dropped by about a third, according to Johns Hopkins University.

About 1.2 million people were tested Thursday, down from 2 million per day a few days before Thanksgiving — a record high as the number of people seeking reassurance before the holidays flooded testing centers.

With Post wires