I had some thoughts about how this testing would be best structured. It's not possible to test for an contagious disease you're not aware of, but much of the infrastructure for doing so can already be in place, ready to be adapted. That infrastructure would roughly boil down to
a) sample collection
b) sample handling
c) sample preparation
d) sample analysis
e) materials: reagents, etc.
Scaling these up from scratch is quite a bit more work than adapting to a new contagion. A commitment to having that infrastructure would have helped a lot with the current crisis.
Right now, the focus is rightfully on health care workers, suspected cases and essential workers. In terms of preparation though, in the early stages of an outb…