The importance of widespread testing for COVID-19 pandemic: systems thinking for drive-through testing sites

Ozgur M. Araz, Adrian Ramirez-Nafarrate, Megan Jehn, Fernando A. Wilson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

On 11 March 2020, the World Health Organisation (WHO) declared COVID-19 a pandemic. Early epidemiological estimates show that COVID-19 is highly transmissible, infecting populations across the globe in a short amount of time. WHO has recommended widespread clinical testing in order to contain COVID-19. However, mass testing in emergency department (ED) settings may result in crowded EDs and increase transmission risk for healthcare staff and other ED patients. Drive-through COVID-19 testing sites are an effective solution to quickly collect samples from suspected cases with minimal risk to healthcare personnel and other patients. Nevertheless, there are many logistical and operational challenges, such as shortages of testing kits, limited numbers of healthcare staff and long delays for collecting samples. Solving these problems requires an understanding of disease dynamics and epidemiology, as well as the logistics of mass distribution. In this position paper, we provide a conceptual framework for addressing these challenges, as well as some insights from prior literature and experience on developing decision support tools for public health departments.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)119-123
Number of pages5
JournalHealth Systems
Volume9
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 2 2020

Keywords

  • COVID-19
  • epidemiology
  • logistics
  • operations management
  • testing sites

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Policy
  • Health Informatics

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