Testing nationwide is currently at 150,000 per day, they said, adding that “If we can’t be doing at least 500,000 tests a day by May 1, it is hard to see any way we can remain open.”
The research on the testing shortfall was done by Dr. Ashish Jha, faculty director of the Harvard Global Health Institute, Dr. Thomas Tsai, researcher at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, and Benjamin Jacobson, research assistant at the Harvard Global Health Institute.
And the number of positive tests much also be much lower, the researchers said. In the US, 20% of those tested for coronavirus get positive results. The World Health Organization has said that to reopen, that number should be between 3% to 12%.
In a three-part guideline released last week, the White House said states can enter the first phase toward reopening once they see a continued decrease over two weeks. Experts have long said one of the major determining factors behind governors’ decisions to reopen their economies should be testing.
Testing is crucial to determine who’s infected and a risk to others.
Contamination delayed tests
The US is currently lacking the testing capacity critical to reopening, and the roll out of tests was stalled from the start of the national outbreak.
“Routine quality control measures aim to identify these types of issues. Those measures were not sufficient in this circumstance, and CDC implemented enhanced quality control to address the issue and will be assessing this issue moving forward,” CDC spokesman Benjamin Haynes said.
States easing restrictions
Some states are already taking steps to begin reopening, though the changes are gradual and limited mostly to outdoor activities.
But Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry said the openings do not mean the area is done flattening the curve but provide a responsible way to exercise outdoors.
Abbott said the process of reopening the state will happen gradually and will be guided by medical experts.
“The only way this is going to work even with something like golf or shooting ranges or trails, is if we follow those, washing our hands, stay home (guidelines). If you’re sick, cough into your sleeve, wear a mask.” Walz said Friday.
Protests over orders
Hundreds gathered in front of the Texas State Capitol in Austin Saturday for a “You Can’t Close America” rally. While, in New Hampshire, a crowd formed outside the State House, urging Gov. Chris Sununu to lift emergency orders.
In Indianapolis, protesters gathered outside the home of Gov. Eric Holcomb to protest his stay-at-home order, which has been extended until May 1. People in cars paraded through Annapolis, Maryland, honking their horns and holding signs asking Gov. Larry Hogan to lift restrictions.
More are planned for the coming days, including in Wisconsin, Kansas and Missouri.
“Hundreds of thousands of workers are out of work. Hundreds and thousands of small family businesses are being destroyed right now under this quarantine, under this lockdown,” Dorr told the news station.
CNN’s Chuck Johnston, Jay Croft, Sheena Jones, Sara Murray, Nick Valencia and Christina Maxouris contributed to this report.