According to the Italian Health Ministry and Civil Protection authorities, which have provided a cohesive national strategy and transparent daily updates since the pandemic first struck in February, Italy went from worst-case scenario to best practice with a strict nationwide lockdown, mandated face coverings inside all public buildings and—here is what is so striking now—rigorous random screening.

Every single day, Italian health authorities are finding thousands of asymptomatic COVID cases through random tests like the ones conducted in the IKEA parking lot. Since the screening started less than a month ago, nearly 21,700 asymptomatic cases have been found, isolated, and the spread contained.

Italians are conducting tests at shopping malls, summer camps, and at the beach. They can be randomly screened for COVID when they go for an X-ray or even at some dental practices. The screening is voluntary, but the health ministry says there is no problem with people refusing to comply. In most cases, people want to know if they have it.

The screening is often done in conjunction with serological antibody testing being conducted across the nation to determine how much of the population has been exposed to the infection.