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NEW YORK – Diagnostics makers have begun bringing serology tests for SARS-CoV-2 to market, raising the prospect that these assays could help scientists and policy makers better assess the scope of the pandemic and perhaps identify individuals with antibodies against the virus who could safely return to work.

The likely low prevalence of COVID-19 in the general population presents a challenge to such testing, however, as tests without extremely high accuracy could lead to large numbers of incorrect results, resulting in dangerous consequences.

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As cases of COVID-19 continued to grow this spring and summer in the US, so too did the number of Emergency Use Authorizations from the FDA for clinical diagnostic tests aimed at detecting current and past infections.