Average Joe wrote:How do they go about testing people? Do they just grab people of the street and test them? Some people don't even show symptoms or very mild symptoms. Why would anyone go and test for COVID19 if they just have a scratchy throat?
Reagents and test kits are in short supply globally so testing (in the Western Cape at least) is very strategic.
Contact tracing is the top priority. If you have tested positive teams from the department of health try to get in touch with as many people as they can that you have had contact with. Typically those people will then get a nasal swab test, but sometimes just a questionnaire depending on the nature of the interaction with the infected person. Regardless of the result those people are requested to self quarantine for 2 weeks and report in if they exhibit any symptoms.
If you test positive, you obviously have to isolate, and you then become a new chain that the contact tracers try to chase down.
Then there is community screening. Teams move around between areas and screen people that might be exhibiting some symptoms or are concerned that they might be infected. They are questioned and temp is taken. If a specific criteria is met, they can also be formally tested. This is basically to try and detect infection clusters that break out where tracing has failed.
Tracing becomes incredibly difficult when, for example, grocery store staff test positive; which has happened to the Checkers, Woolworths and Shoprite in my immediate vicinity all within the last 2 weeks.