The thing is, you're really not infectious at the margins where the test is unreliable. If the viral load is low enough for the test to not pick it up, it's also low enough that a person wouldn't be contagious. Even when people are presymptomatic or asymptomatic, they have millions of copies of virus in their nose, and the tests would be able to detect them at that stage. Testing everyone in the morning and catching people who are shedding virus like crazy but aren't symptomatic yet is way better than having them go about their day unaware and finally get tested by their doctor days later when they have symptoms and have already potentially infected others.

Senior staff writer at Elemental covering Covid-19, mental health, and the science of wellness • PhD in experimental psychology • @smithdanag

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