Some Quick Thoughts on D.C.’s Back to School Testing Data

Wednesday, all students and staff were required to take a rapid antigen test before they could enter school Thursday (about one quarter wound up taking the tests on Thursday). Some thoughts and observations on the data:

  1. 7.2% of teachers and 5.5% of students tested positive. Mind you, with Omicron, a test taken at 4pm on Wednesday doesn’t mean that someone won’t be infectious by Thursday morning. Considering the extremely high prevalence, it’s likely a lot of teachers and students would test positive today if they were to take another test, so who knows what will happen in a couple of weeks.
  2. Amazingly, as it often has throughout the pandemic, the two-week prevalence is a really good estimate of the current number of infected people (note: once one adjusts for the percentage of students from each ward, the estimated percentage of infected students would be 5.4%). I still have no idea why this works, but it seems to be a good proxy for infected people.
  3. Unless you don’t care about getting infected, any not-small group has a high probability of having an infected person. For example, if we assume 5.5% are infected, then a group of twenty people has a two-in-three chance of having one or more infected people. Might want to plan accordingly.
  4. Unless Rt craters (hopefully, it will! But hope isn’t a plan!), it’s going to take a few months to return to a reasonably good place, though we’re already seeing signs of a decline.
  5. As I noted earlier this week, I have no idea what the long-term plan is, but we do have to settle things down over the next couple of weeks, so things can (sort of) function routinely.
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2 Responses to Some Quick Thoughts on D.C.’s Back to School Testing Data

  1. Pingback: The State of COVID-19 in D.C.: Very Confused | Mike the Mad Biologist

  2. Pingback: D.C. Should Send a Box of Tests Home with Each Student Every Friday | Mike the Mad Biologist

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