Table 2:

Costs for conducting active testing strategies for SARS-CoV-2 across Canada

Outcome categoryStatus quo: current strategy*Strategy 1: systematically trace and test contacts (in addition to status quo)At-risk populations
Strategy 2: test all employees of acute care hospitalsStrategy 3: test all CHW and employees and residents of long-term care facilitiesStrategy 4: test all essential employees with public or interpersonal contactStrategy 5: test all children and staff of schools
Time frame for cost calculation, d282828282842
No. of people sampled per day41 75147 35327 14635 62091 732143 146
No. of people to sample over time frame1 169 0281 325 872760 095997 3502 568 4966 012 144
Primary analysis
Costs, $
 Per 100 persons tested58005950382012 52012 52013 570
 Per day2.4 million2.8 million1.0 million4.5 million11.5 million19.4 million
 Total over time frame67.8 million78.9 million29.0 million124.8 million321.7 million816.0 million
 Total cost including strategy 1107.9 million203.7 million400.6 million934.3 million
Additional considerations
 No. of additional tests for contacts or repeat testing over time frame19 605180 84033 79043 35043 95052 600
 Total cost of additional tests, $1.2 million9.9 million2.1 million2.8 million2.8 million3.3 million
Sensitivity analyses
Saliva sampling§
 Cost savings over time frame−5.3 million−39.6 million−91.4 million−257.6 million
Saline transport media
 Cost savings over time frame−3.9 million−4.4 million−2.5 million−3.3 million−8.5 million−20.0 million
 Cost savings if implemented with strategy 1−6.9 million−7.7 million−12.9 million−26.6 million
Heat extraction
 Cost savings over time frame−12.3 million−14.0 million−8.0 million−10.5 million−27.1 million−63.5 million
 Cost savings if implemented with strategy 1−22.0 million−24.5 million−41.1 million−84.5 million
Pooling samples 4:1
 Cost savings over time frame−15.5 million−17.3 million−10.4 million−13.6 million−35.4 million−83.1 million
 Cost savings if implemented with strategy 1−27.7 million−31.0 million−52.8 million−109.1 million
All analyses together
 Cost savings over time frame−22.9 million−25.8 million−17.7 million−56.3 million−135.2 million−356.8 million
 Cost savings if implemented with strategy 1−43.6 million−82.1 million−161.1 million−395.5 million
  • Note: CHW = community health care workers, SARS-CoV-2 = severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2.

  • * As of July 17, 2020.

  • Assuming all people who test positive need 2 additional tests (all strategies), all negative contacts need 1 additional test (strategy 1), and all new contacts traced require a test (strategies 2–5).

  • Categories included only if a change in cost occurred.

  • § Saliva sampling employed only for large-scale, prevalence-based testing programs in at-risk populations (strategies 2–5).

  • Combination of saliva, saline transport media, heat extraction and pooling samples. Cost savings are not additive for 2 reasons: (1) pooling samples reduces reagent use and therefore reduces savings associated with heat extraction; (2) saliva sampling does not require viral transport media, so when saliva sampling is performed savings associated with saline transport media are embedded.