PCR (Polymerase Chain Reaction) tests have been widely used across the U.S. and around the world to determine who has a positive case of COVID-19. PCR assays are not designed to be used as diagnostic tools, as they can’t distinguish between inactive viruses and “live” or reproductive ones.
A persistent sticking point with the PCR test is that it picks up dead viral debris, and by excessively magnifying those particles with CTs (cycle thresholds) in the 40s, noninfectious individuals are labeled as infectious and told to self-isolate. In short, media and public health officials have conflated “cases” — positive tests — with the actual illness.
On July 21, 2021, the CDC released a Lab Alert indicating that after December 31, 2021, they will withdrawal the request to the FDA for Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) of the CDC 2019-Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) Real-Time RT-PCR Diagnostic Panel, and require labs to select and implement one of the many FDA-authorized alternatives.
To learn more about PCR, please see the additional resources below.