The Case for LESS Sensitive COVID Tests


From “Minute Physics”. ( YouTube / Nebula )

Thanks to Brilliant for sponsoring this video – the first 200 people to click on will get 20% off a Premium subscription to Brilliant.

This video written & produced in collaboration with Aatish Bhatia,

This video is about how cheap, fast, and LESS sensitive rapid antigen tests might be better for screening (& maybe surveillance) than PCR COVID tests due to the nature of contagiousness/infectiveness at various points on the viral load trajectory of symptomatic and asymptomatic COVID sars-COV-2 carriers.


Thanks to Daniel Larremore for feedback on early versions of this video

Rapid Antigen Testing:

COVID-19 testing: One size does not fit all.

Rethinking Covid-19 Test Sensitivity — A Strategy for Containment.

Test sensitivity is secondary to frequency and turnaround time for COVID-19 screening.

The effectiveness of population-wide, rapid antigen test based screening in reducing SARS-CoV-2 infection prevalence in Slovakia. (pre-print, not yet peer reviewed)

Effective Testing and Screening for Covid-19.

Brown University & Harvard University modeling of COVID-19 testing shortfall.

Fast Coronavirus Tests are coming.

Open letter signed by epidemiologists and infectious disease experts supporting widespread & frequent rapid antigen testing for COVID-19:

More information on various COVID-19 tests:

Field performance and public health response using the BinaxNOW Rapid SARS-CoV-2 antigen detection assay during community-based testing.

Performance of an Antigen-Based Test for Asymptomatic and Symptomatic SARS-CoV-2 Testing at Two University Campuses.

Asymptomatic Spread:

People without symptoms spread virus in more than half of cases, CDC model finds

(More than half of all) SARS-CoV-2 Transmission From People Without COVID-19 Symptoms.

Three Quarters of People with SARS-CoV-2 Infection are Asymptomatic: Analysis of English Household Survey Data.

Viral Load Curve:

SARS-CoV-2 viral dynamics in acute infections. (pre-print, not yet peer reviewed)

Support MinutePhysics on Patreon!
Link to Patreon Supporters:

MinutePhysics is on twitter – @minutephysics
And facebook –

Minute Physics provides an energetic and entertaining view of old and new problems in physics — all in a minute!

Created by Henry Reich

How useful was this post?

Click on a star to rate it!

Average rating 0 / 5. Vote count: 0

No votes so far! Be the first to rate this post.

We are sorry that this post was not useful for you!

Help us improve our content!

Tell us if mBlip should continue to feature this YouTuber's content.