L.A. County Tells Docs to Skip Coronavirus Testing as They Abandon Hopes for Containment

With a barrage of suspected COVID-19 cases and a shortage of testing kits, the Los Angeles County Department of Health Services has announced a major shift in its coronavirus response. DHS told doctors Thursday to test patients for the virus only if the result would change the way they are being treated.

The guidance reflects a shift “from a strategy of case containment to slowing disease transmission and averting excess morbidity and mortality,” the department said

The new policy—and the shortage of tests that preceded it—could have lasting implications. Without rigorous testing, we may never know how many patients contracted coronavirus in the nation’s most populous county.