The US populations tested most, least for COVID-19

The CDC is now reporting weekly updates of COVID-19 testing done by public health, clinical and commercial laboratories.

The national percentage of respiratory specimens testing positive for COVID-19 is now 16.5 percent at public health labs and 8.8 percent at clinical labs, according to the COVIDView report. The report is a weekly summary and interpretation of key indicators being adapted to track the COVID-19 pandemic in the U.S.

Since March 1, public health labs have tested 156,225 specimens for COVID-19 and clinical labs have tested 37,206. Of those tested, 22,601 total specimens were positive for the disease. 

Here are eight report insights on the age population of individuals tested for COVID-19 and positive results from March 1-28, based on U.S. state and local public health labs reporting to CDC:

1. For the first week of March, fewer than 10,000 specimens were tested. Of those specimens, nearly half were taken from individuals ages 18-49, followed by individuals ages 50-64 and those over 65 years old. People ages 5 to17 were tested the least.

2. For the second week of March, nearly 30,000 specimens were tested. Of those specimens, about 13,000 were taken from individuals ages 18- 49, followed by about 7,000 taken from individuals ages 50-64 and 7,000 collected from individuals older than 65. Individuals 17 years old and younger were tested the least.

3. For the third week, nearly 60,000 specimens were tested. Of those specimens, about 38,000 were collected from individuals ages 18-49, followed by 9,000 collected from individuals ages 50-64 and 11,000 collected from individuals older than 65. Individuals 17 years old and younger were tested the least.

4. For the fourth week, a little more than 50,000 specimens were tested. Of those, about 24,000 were collected from individuals ages 18-49, followed by 16,000 taken from individuals at least 65 years old and 10,000 from individuals ages 50-64. Individuals 17 years old and younger were tested the least.

5. Despite being tested the most, only about 10 percent of individuals ages 18 to 49 tested positive for COVID-19 during the first three weeks of March. The number of these individuals who tested positive for the virus by week four rose to about 15 percent.

6. About 12 percent of individuals ages 50-64 tested positive for COVID-19 during the first three weeks of the month. This number increased to nearly 20 percent by week four.

7. Around 17 percent of individuals at least 65 years old tested positive for COVID-19 during the first week of March. During weeks two and three, this number dropped to about 11 percent before spiking to 23 percent during week four.

8. Overall, the number of cases that tested positive for COVID-19 during March hovered around 10 percent for the first three weeks before increasing to about 16.5 percent by the end of the month.

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