We are all eager to return to normal or at least a new normal. Today’s limits on the availability of tests is the key bottleneck to re-opening We all know more tests are needed. But how many more?

Given the urgency to restart our economy this is no time to be timid. Every public health official outlines three criteria for ending lockdown.

Identification of those infected.

Contract tracing to identify those exposed.

Isolation of those exposed until there is no longer a risk of transmission.

How many tests do we need? Ideally all 155 million workers should be tested before returning or continuing to work. People should not have to go to work fearing for themselves and their families. All 80 million students (K through 12 and college) should be tested before returning to classrooms, which are ideal settings for disease transmission. All those over the age of 65 (about 50 million) should be tested as they are at high risk.

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Originally published on Forbes (April 23, 2020)