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State Senator calls for random testing to combat virus

State Senator calls for random testing to combat virus

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State Senator Andy Wells 

N.C. Sen. Andy Wells is calling for testing on a random sample of North Carolina residents in hopes of gaining a better understanding of COVID-19.

Given the far-reaching steps governments have taken and are considering, there needs to be more data on how the disease is spreading and a random sample is the best way to get that information, Wells said in a statement this week.

Wells, a Hickory resident, points to a number of articles related to testing, including an article by Stanford University medical professor John Ioannidis in which the professor bemoans the “lack of reliable evidence” and the importance of testing a randomized population sample.

Wells said state leaders are in discussions with a health-care company that is interested in the idea of random testing. He said he could not name the company.

“While companies like LabCorp announced last week they were doubling testing from 10,000 tests per day to 20,000 tests per day, there is not an abundance of swabs for testing or personal protection equipment for those doing the testing in the state,” Wells said. “We are working to find more of that for the random sampling.”

When asked about their views on random testing and the adequacy of existing data, the Catawba County Public Health Department responded that any questions about statewide testing or data should be directed to the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services.

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