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Using Algorithms to Decide Who to Test for COVID-19 (Guests: Scott Brooks and Dr. Daniel Castillo)

August 20, 2020

To protect its workforce of 120,000 employees, Tyson Foods has launched a COVID-19 testing program based on data science. Each week, an algorithm will determine who to test and how many to test. It is likely the largest testing program of its kind.

Scott Brooks, Tyson Foods senior vice president of Food Safety and Quality Assurance, and Dr. Daniel Castillo, chief medical officer at Matrix Medical Network, discuss the use of data science to stay ahead of the COVID-19. The two explain how the program will work, the team Tyson has hired to support the program, whether such a program has been used before, how Tyson will measure success, the possibility of false results, contact tracing and how the workforce is responding to the program.

Dr. Castillo discusses whether such a program could work in other large settings such as college campuses, sport teams, gyms and other large institutions. Brooks also discusses Tyson’s experience with COVID so far (less than 1 percent of workforce have an active case) and how large employers are managing the human resource concerns of the pandemic.

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AnneMarie Schieber is a research fellow at The Heartland Institute and managing editor of Health Care News, Heartland's monthly newspaper for health care reform. @HCPolicy