The Florida Department of Health (FDOH) is mandating that all laboratories involved in COVID-19 testing report the cycle threshold value of every test performed.
In a memo (pdf) dated Dec. 3, the department said, “All positive, negative and indeterminate COVID-19 laboratory results must be reported to FDOH via electronic laboratory reporting or by fax immediately. This includes all COVID-19 test types—polymerase chain reaction (PCR), or the RNA, antigen and antibody results.
Furthermore, the FDOH is requiring that “cycle threshold (CT) values and their reference ranges, as applicable, must be reported.”
The cycle threshold value is determined by the number of cycles it takes for a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test machine to detect a fragment of the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus, which causes the disease COVID-19.
It informs an infected person of how much virus is in their system: a lower cycle threshold value indicates a higher viral load, meaning the individual is more infectious, while a person with a higher threshold value has a less viral load and is less likely to be infectious.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, laboratories have only been required to report a positive or negative PCR test result without the cycle threshold value, unless requested. But most do not know that they can request information about the threshold value.
Knowing the cycle threshold value not only gauges how contagious a person is but can also help guide policy decisions and patient management.
The Florida Department of Health did not reply to emails from The Epoch Times for a comment about how the cycle threshold information will be used and if it will be publicly displayed.
Infectious disease experts have discussed the importance of understanding cycle threshold values when testing for the CCP virus. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said in a TWiV interview in July, “if you get a cycle threshold of 35 or more that the chances of it [the virus] being replication competent are miniscule,” meaning that the detected virus is likely dead.
He continued, “I think if somebody does come in with 37, 38, even 36, you’ve got to say, you know it’s just dead nucleotides, period.”
Fauci also says that it’s impossible to “culture virus from a 37 cycle threshold.”
A study of 90 positive COVID-19 samples showed “no positive viral cultures with a CT greater than 24,” with the odds of a positive culture decreasing by “32 percent for each unit increase in CT.”
In the research community, many have reported not observing contagious patients for tests that are positive beyond cycle threshold cutoff values of 25 to 30.