Comment by Iwein on March Coronavirus Open Thread · 2020-03-21T00:58:10.030Z · LW · GW

Is there any information on how exactly the testing process works? I'm trying to determine whether pool testing could be worthwhile. Test 10 samples at the same time to confirm if they're all negative. If not, test them all separately. At worst that's 11 tests to confirm postivie cases for 10 people, yet only one to clear 10. There's a million variables like expected infection saturation, grouping by symptoms/likelihood of infection, cost of the tests, duration of testing, number of test stations(is this even a bottle neck that needs a solution?) and of course there are better ways to group samples, but I'm no mathematician to think of a proper protocol/algorithm for that: group size of 100 with halving of the groups in case they test positive? To speed up the process the multiple samples needed for several stages of testing would be collected at the same time.