Is large-scale rapid CoV-2 testing a substitute for lockdowns? The case of Tübingen

Marc Diederichs, Peter G. Kremsner, Timo Mitze, Gernot J. Müller, Dominik Papies, Felix Schulz, Klaus Wälde

Publikation: Working paperForskning


Various forms of contact restriction have been adopted in response to the Covid-19 pandemic. Only recently, rapid testing appeared as a new policy instrument. If sufficiently effective, it may serve as a substitute for contact restrictions. Against this background we evaluate the effects of a unique policy experiment: on March 16, the city of Tübingen set up a rapid testing scheme while relaxing lockdown measurestextemdashin sharp contrast to its German peers. Comparing case rates in Tübingen county to an appropriately defined control unit over a four-week period, we find an increase in the reported case rate, robustly across alternative specifications. However, the increase is temporary and about one half of it reflects cases that would have gone undetected in the absence of extra testing.Competing Interest StatementThe authors have declared no competing interest.Funding Statementno external funding Author DeclarationsI confirm all relevant ethical guidelines have been followed, and any necessary IRB and/or ethics committee approvals have been obtained.YesThe details of the IRB/oversight body that provided approval or exemption for the research described are given below:not requiredAll necessary patient/participant consent has been obtained and the appropriate institutional forms have been archived.YesI understand that all clinical trials and any other prospective interventional studies must be registered with an ICMJE-approved registry, such as I confirm that any such study reported in the manuscript has been registered and the trial registration ID is provided (note: if posting a prospective study registered retrospectively, please provide a statement in the trial ID field explaining why the study was not registered in advance).YesI have followed all appropriate research reporting guidelines and uploaded the relevant EQUATOR Network research reporting checklist(s) and other pertinent material as supplementary files, if applicable.Yesall data is public
UdgiverCold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press
StatusE-pub ahead of print - 2021
NavnmedRxiv : the preprint server for health sciences