The Mouse That Roared: What The US Can Learn From Andorra About Covid-19 Testing

One country is setting the global standard for Covid-19 testing, and it isn’t the United States.

In anticipation of the winter holidays, the small European principality of Andorra has begun distributing rapid, self-administered antigen tests for Covid-19 to all residents over the age of six. These home testing kits are free, government-provided, and available to pick up at designated locations. Though allocations are limited to one per resident, more free tests will be distributed after Christmas as well.

Why is this significant? With a population of about 77,000, a landmass just 2.5 times the size of Washington DC, and both France and Spain as neighbors, at any point in the pandemic Andorra could very easily have been overwhelmed by an incoming tide of cases. While case counts did peak in October, when health authorities logged in a single month about 35 percent of their all-time 7,466 total, the surge paled in comparison to the explosive outbreaks occurring right outside their borders.

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Originally published on Forbes (December 18, 2020)

© William A. Haseltine, PhD. All Rights Reserved.