The US has recorded an average of about 1.5 million Covid-19 tests per day over the past week, according to data from The COVID Tracking Project.
That’s about 26% fewer than the average in mid-January, when the US hit a peak seven-day average of more than 2 million tests reported on Jan. 15.
The decline in new tests reported nationally had been rather consistent since hitting that peak. But over the past seven days, the number of new tests reported has started to tick back up.
The average of about 1.5 million tests per day over the past week is a 14% increase over the average of about 1.3 million tests per day the week before.
Even as case rates drop, experts have stressed the importance of testing as a way to stay ahead of outbreaks, particularly with the new variants in the mix.
Contract tracing, which requires sufficient testing, is also one of five key mitigation strategies outlined by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in school reopening guidance.
More on the testing data: Reported test counts are estimates. Also, states do not all report tests consistently. Some include both viral (PCR) and antigen tests, and some report based on the number of people tested as opposed to the number of specimens tested.