But to enable widespread screening of mostly healthy people (think of a workplace that wants to screen its entire workforce on a regular basis) we need a third layer of tools that allow quick and accurate screening of large populations. For these tasks, you want machines that can screen many people with a high degree of precision, even if they don’t have any symptoms. Consider a model where employees would spit in tubes and then the samples would be pooled together in groups of 50 or even 100 and tested overnight to see if anyone has coronavirus. If a pooled sample gets a hit, the workers could be individually screened using PCR.

I work with technologies and services that can be used for this kind of screening at the workplace. These kinds of platforms are already available, and some large employers are going to be using them to implement broad screening of their workforces.