Insights / Research BriefMar 27, 2020

Coronavirus Testing Can Relieve Severity of Quarantine Measures

Universal testing, combined with more targeted quarantine measures for positive cases, could reduce the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

We extend the baseline SEIR infectious disease epidemiology model to understand the potential role of broad based testing in guiding government quarantine policies. Reducing quarantine measures by themselves would increase mortality. However, our framework demonstrates that randomly testing asymptomatic individuals and then targeting quarantine measures to those who test positive to COVID-19 can deliver the same mortality as severe quarantine measures, with a less devastating impact on the economy.