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Coronavirus Testing: Criteria and Numbers by Country


Current testing numbers by country


Current testing numbers in the United States (total and by state)


The content below is an historical account as of the end of February to early March 2020:


As of March 2, 2020

Tests Performed
Tests per Million People
South Korea
United States

* as of March 1. On March 2, the "Total tested" figure was removed from CDC's website.

As of February 26, 2020

Number of tests and positivity rate for Covid-19 as of Feb. 26

  • UK: 7,132 concluded tests, of which 13 positive (0.2% positivity rate). [source]
  • Italy: 9,462 tests, of which 470 positive, awaiting results: unknown (at least 5.0% positivity rate). [source]
  • France: 762 tests, of which 17 positive, 179 awaiting results (at least 2.2% positivity rate). [source]
  • Austria: 321 tests, of which 2 positive, awaiting results: unknown (at least 0.6% positivity rate). [source]
  • South Korea: 66,652 tests with 1766 positives 25,568 awaiting results (4.3% positivity rate). [source]
  • United States: 445 concluded tests, of which 14 positive (3.1% positivity rate). [source]


Italy announced on Feb. 26 that it would relax its testing criteria to the point that contacts linked to confirmed cases or recent travelers to outbreak areas would not be tested anymore, unless they show symptoms.

South Korea

South Korea (population of 51 million) is testing about 10,000 people per day, and is working to increase that to 15,000 to 20,000 per day, as of Feb. 27. They are installing drive through test facilities, which minimize hospital pressures and keep potential patients out of the system until they need access. [source]

Health authorities on Feb. 27 have also started testing more than 210,000 members of the Shincheonji religious group in Daegu.

United States

On March. 2, Dr. Stephen Hahn, FDA Commissioner, announced that the US will have, by the end of the week, the ability to perform 1 million tests.

The US CDC initially declined to test the patient who on Feb. 26 become the latest confirmed case in the US, and the first with an unknown origin of infection (raising the concern that there are more cases circulating among the general public that have not been identified).

The patient, who was on a ventilator with a suspected viral infection, was transferred from another hospital to UC Davis Medical Center on Feb. 19. The hospital's request to test for COVID-19 was initially denied by CDC, as the patient did not meet the COVID-19 testing criteria (had not recently traveled to countries with outbreaks or been in contact with someone with the virus). The CDC on Feb. 27 issued new testing rules, for which many more people can now be tested for the coronavirus.

Just 12 of more than 100 public health labs in the U.S. are currently able to test for COVID-19 because of a problem with the test developed by CDC. The agency can now screen only 350-500 samples per day. California Governor Gavin Newsom characterized the number of test kits available in the state as “remarkably inadequate.”

As of Feb. 26, CDC had performed a total of 445 tests. For comparison, the UK, with a population five times smaller than the US, had conducted over 7,000 tests.

March 2, 2020
Dr. Matt McCarthy, a staff physician at New York-Presbyterian:

“I’m here to tell you, right now, at one of the busiest hospitals in the country, I don’t have [a rapid diagnostic test] at my finger tips.” “I still have to make my case, plead to test people. This is not good. We know that there are 88 cases in the United States. There are going to be hundreds by middle of week. There’s going to be thousands by next week. And this is a testing issue.”

“In New York State, the person who tested positive is only the 32nd test we’ve done in this state,” he said. “That is a national scandal. [...] They’re testing 10,000 a day in some countries and we can’t get this off the ground,” McCarthy said. “I’m a practitioner on the firing line, and I don’t have the tools to properly care for patients today.” (Video, CNBC)

See also: COVID-19 Testing Numbers by Country



China tested 320,000 people in Guangdong (population of 113 million people) over a three-week period.


We will be adding other countries and more details in the coming days.